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Author: Dan Purgert
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] The real reason I like Linux
On Mar 16, 2020, tom wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Mar 2020 08:38:04 -0400
> Dan Purgert <dan@???> wrote:
> > On Mar 15, 2020, tom wrote:
> > > [...] The biggest technical problem is the
> > > lack of ASIC northbridge, or rather something to interface the CPU
> > > to an PCIE bus. Currently the best thing available you can get is
> > > an FPGA and it is a severe bandwidth bottleneck. It's also super
> > > expensive getting an FPGA that beefy enough. I don't see RISCV
> > > going anywhere until this is solved except microcontroller
> > > applications.
> > >
> > > The second problem is patents that prevent RISCV developers from
> > > implementing a lot of popular specs and standards. Just as an
> > > example look at the licensing cost of implementing HDMI vs
> > > DisplayPort.
> >
> > On the one hand, I understand why a "large market audience" device
> > would need HDMI or DisplayPort or the newest whizbang 256K DNA
> > ("Direct Neural Attachment") adapter is ... but why does that need to
> > be on a small-market / hobby computer?
> >
> > I can only speak for myself, but a reasonably open PC at the $400 mark
> > would certainly be competitive to dell or hp; even if it were
> > "limited" in the peripheral interconnect area (assuming, of course,
> > the motherboard's peripheral layout were well documented and people
> > were encouraged to make stuff -- see arduino or rpi expansion boards )
> >
> generally you want to be able to attach a video card or high
> performance disk controller to a PCIE slot. you /can/ do these things
> with an FPGA but I wouldn't call it very reliable. You do too many
> things or send too much data over the bus it exceeds the bandwidth and
> the system locks up needing a reset.

I think I wasn't clear enough then. For the sake of discussion, let's
say PCIe is off the table.

What, then, is so bad about PCI? Or hell, even ISA?

Sure, it's super-limiting in terms of what you can buy off the shelf --
but then again, so was the "compatible with Arduino(tm)" market 5-10
years ago (and now look at that mess!)

I guess what I'm trying to ask is what would be so bad about a "RISC-V
Hobby Linux Machine(tm)" only offering these "older" peripheral
connectivity interfaces in interests of being inexpensive and also
preserving end-user freedom?

Or ... maybe I'm just a bit crazier than I thought.

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