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Analysis on the Possibility of RISC-V Adoption

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license
Abstract

As the interface between hardware and software, Instruction Set Architectures (ISAs) play a key role in the operation of computers. While both hardware and software have continued to evolve rapidly over time, ISAs have undergone minimal change. Since its release in 2010, RISC-V has begun to erode the industry aversion to ISA innovation. Established on the principals of the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), and as an open source ISA, RISC-V offers many benefits over popular ISAs like Intel’s x86 and Arm Holding’s Advanced RISC Machine (ARM).

In this literature review I evaluate the literature discussing:

What makes changing Instruction Set Architectures difficult

Why might the industry choose to implement RISC-V

When researching this topic I visited the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), INSPEC (Engineering Village), and ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Digital Library databases. I used the search terms, “RISC-V”, “Instruction Set Architecture”, “RISC-V” AND “x86”, and “RISC-V” AND “Instruction Set Architecture”. This literature review evaluates 10 papers on implementation of RISC-V. As this paper was intended to cover recent developments in the field, publication dates were limited to from 2015 to present.

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