Chatter around GPUs for RISC-V is growing

The activity around creating a legit graphics processor for RISC-V chip designs, an emerging competitor to x86 and ARM, is gaining steam. Special interest groups at RISC-V next year will expand the focus on extensions for shaders and advanced matrix operations, which is important for artificial intelligence and machine learning, Mark Himelstein, chief technology officer at RISC-V, told The Register. RISC-V International, which developed the instruction set architecture, has interest groups develop extensions that users can add to their chip designs. In 2021, 16 RISC-V extensions were ratified, Himelstein said, and that number will grow next year. Many new extensions were part of mainstream computing chips announced this year at the RISC-V Summit. "If somebody needs something more quickly, they can implement it as a non-standard extension and implement it themselves with their proprietary bits, and then bring it back to RISC-V, try to get it in as a standard, if that's what they want, or they could keep it proprietary," Himelstein said. The RISC-V focus on GPUs is largely from an AI and scientific computing perspective, though the focus on shading represents a fledgling effort to create a full-fledged GPU extension for gaming and graphics design. In the meanwhile other options for GPUs for RISC-V are available, though don't expect to buy them off the shelf. Imagine all the GPUs Imagination Technologies, which this week re-entered the CPU market with a RISC-V processor called Catapult, said its GPUs will work with RISC-V. The company's PowerVR graphics cores were used by Apple in iPhones, and are popular in mobile devices with chips from companies including MediaTek. "There is no reason why you could not integrate C-series -- which is the part that has ray tracing -- with RISC-V," David Harold, chief marketing officer at Imagination, told The Register. China's road to homegrown chip glory looks to be going for a RISC-V future Alibaba teases a breakthrough chip, merging processor and memory China to upgrade mainstream RISC-V chips every six months SiFive's latest top-end RISC-V CPU core supports proper virtualization in hardware Andes Technology, which creates RISC-V chip designs, has verified that Imagination's GPUs work with RISC-V, and so has RIOS Lab, which has David Patterson, vice chair of the Board at RISC-V Foundation, on staff. Imagination has a broader view of RISC-V and GPUs beyond PCs. There's a broader application alongside its AI, networking and other intellectual property in areas like automotive. "We think that is the design future for the kinds of intense workloads particularly that are driven by things like autonomous systems," Harold said. The need for a GPU on RISC-V could be fundamental as the chip architecture gains importance, Shreyas Derashri, vice president of compute at Imagination, told The Register. "If you're running a face unlock algorithm or face detection, they are parts that run sequentially that can run better on a CPU with a vector extension. There are parts in floating point that will work better on a GPU," Derashri said. There are other efforts to put a GPU atop RISC-V CPUs. A developer board with a RISC-V chip and a GPU went on sale, but sold out quickly. Another group is porting Nvidia's software development kit called CUDA, which is designed for the company's GPUs, to RISC-V. Similar topics GPU RISC Broader topics Alder Lake Arm Hardware Narrower topics Apple M1 RISC-V SiFive Corrections Send us news Other stories you might like Log4j doesn't just blow a hole in your servers, it's reopening that can of worms: Is Big Biz exploiting open source? Would more money have prevented this security flaw? Would the cash be useful in other ways anyway? Thomas Claburn in San Francisco Tue 14 Dec 2021 // 01:55 UTC Analysis The disclosure of a critical security hole in Log4j last week has renewed calls to rethink how open-source software gets developed, paid for, and maintained, not that the long-simmering issue ever really went away.The Log4j bug, an unauthenticated remote code execution flaw (CVE-2021-44228) in Apache's open-source Log4j Java-based logging tool, is particularly serious and far-reaching because exploitation is not difficult and the software is widely used.Annoyance with the handful of project maintainers for failing to catch the bug prompted one, developer Volkan Yazici, to voice indignation about all the people bashing the maintainers for their unpaid, volunteer labor without offering any financial support or contributed code fixes. Continue reading HCL accused of wage theft, underpaying H-1B workers by at least $95m a year US think tank reckons services giant abuses spirit of skilled migrant system Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor Tue 14 Dec 2021 // 00:59 UTC The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has published an analysis accusing Indian services company HCL of systemic underpayment of workers holding H-1B visas issued to skilled migrants in the US.HCL insists it is following Uncle Sam's rules and isn't doing anything wrong.In a report published last week, the American think tank's director of immigration law and policy research Daniel Costa and research associate Ron Hira analysed an HCL PowerPoint deck [PDF] filed in the case United States of America, ex rel. Ralph Billington, Michael Aceves, and Sharon Dorman v. HCL Technologies LTD. and HCL America, Inc. Continue reading Log4j RCE latest: In case you hadn't noticed, this is Really Very Bad, exploited in the wild, needs urgent patching This might be the bug that deserves the website, logo and book deal Gareth Corfield Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 23:07 UTC Miscreants are wasting no time in using the widespread Log4j vulnerability to compromise systems, with waves and waves of live exploit attempts focused mainly – for now – on turning infected devices into cryptocurrency-mining botnet drones.Israel's Check Point said this morning it was seeing around 100 exploit attempts every minute, going into further detail in a blog post.Apache Log4j is an open-source logging utility written in Java that is used all over the world in many software packages and online systems. Last week it emerged that Alibaba security engineer Chen Zhaojun had found and privately disclosed on November 24 details of a trivial-to-exploit remote code execution hole (CVE-2021-44228) in Log4j 2.x, specifically versions 2.14.1 and earlier. Continue reading Midwest tornado destroys Amazon warehouse, killing six More than eighty feared dead across multiple US states hit by super storms Thomas Claburn in San Francisco Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 20:27 UTC Six people were killed on Friday night when a severe storm struck an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, and dozens more lost their lives in nearby Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.Police in Edwardsville have identified six individuals who died as a result of the EF-3 tornado."The Edwardsville Fire Department is still working to clear debris from the site and working with representatives of Amazon to transition the property back to their control," Edwardsville police chief Michael Fillback said in a statement, noting that everyone who worked on site is accounted for. Continue reading AWS postmortem: Internal ops teams' own monitoring tools went down, had to comb through logs OK, it wasn't DNS, but it was hanging around the scene looking shifty Liam Proven in Prague Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 19:40 UTC Amazon has published some additional information for last week's US-East-1 outage that revealed its staffers had to pick their way through log files when the web giant's own monitoring tools were hit.Amazon seems not to want to reveal much technical detail about its internal systems. That is somewhat understandable; quite likely, a few pundits would be horrified, a few others would scour it for hints for future attack, and the rest of the world would neither understand nor care. Either way, it might put a few customers off, either current or potential. Continue reading No more Commercial Space Astronaut Wings after this year because FAA has been handing them out like candy You can still get a badge if you go now Laura Dobberstein Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 18:45 UTC The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ending its Commercial Space Astronaut Wings programme, citing waning exclusivity."The Astronaut Wings program, created in 2004, served its original purpose to bring additional attention to this exciting endeavour," said FAA associate administrator Wayne Monteith, adding: "Now it's time to offer recognition to a larger group of adventurers daring to go to space."While people reaching 50 statute miles on an FAA-licensed or permitted launch or re-entry will no longer receive a badge, they will still be added to an FAA database recognising those achieving spaceflight. Continue reading Is VPOTUS Bluetooth-phobic or sensible? The answer's pretty clear Plus: bugs found on Mars! Of the software kind, of course Iain Thomson in San Francisco Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 17:01 UTC In Brief The vice-president of the United States, Kamala Harris, was mocked by commentators this week for her aversion to Bluetooth on security grounds. Security professionals think she has a point – given her position."Should someone who travels with the nuclear football be spending time untangling her headphone wires? The American people deserve answers," the wags at Politico noted.Turns out being a political commentator doesn't make you smart on security. As John Scott-Railton, senior researcher at Citizen Lab (an org that knows a thing or six about security), pointed out, you'd rather have a vice president who recognizes that security is paramount – and America's own NSA advises against the use of Bluetooth. Continue reading UK government has 'no clear plan' for replacing ageing legacy IT estate, MPs report Police National Computer, customs rig and more fingered in PAC report Lindsay Clark Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 16:05 UTC UK government has "no clear plan" to set out how it will replace ageing legacy systems vital for the operation of the public sector, despite some systems dating back to the 1970s, according to a committee of MPs.The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee said the machines looking after data on the UK's borders and paying the State Pension were examples of an archaic legacy estate."Many of these systems are stable and performing acceptably at reasonable cost, but others are high risk, unreliable, contain security vulnerabilities, or frustrate business transformation," a report published late last week said. Continue reading Timekeeping biz Kronos hit by ransomware and warns customers to engage biz continuity plans Big implications for millions of staffers' Christmas pay packets Gareth Corfield Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 15:07 UTC Kronos Private Cloud has been hit by a ransomware attack. The company, also known as Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG), provides timekeeping services to companies employing millions across worldwide.Emails sent by Kronos to its corporate customers, seen by The Register, confirm the firm has pulled its private cloud services offline following a ransomware attack. It is advising customers to deploy "alternative business continuity protocols" – a move with potential implications for Britons' Christmas pay packets.Kronos' messages to corporate customers were identical in wording to this post on Kronos' customer support forums, signed by exec veep Bob Hughes. It said: Continue reading ESA promises to get back to would-be astronauts by the end of 2021 A space thing running late? Who would have thought it? Richard Speed Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 14:27 UTC Delays are a way of life for the space community, and the European Space Agency (ESA) has flown past its latest deadline for replying to astronaut applicants.In a post entitled "Astronaut applicants thanked as ESA contacts all candidates," Guillaume Weerts, head of space medicine, admitted that it actually hadn't.The latest round of recruitment fetched 23,000 applications. Twenty per cent were swiftly rejected while the rest merited further examination. ESA promised to get through them all by the end of November. Continue reading British watchdog begins probing Microsoft's acquisition of AI speech specialist Nuance You have until 10 January to make your feelings felt Richard Speed Mon 13 Dec 2021 // 13:29 UTC The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to take a closer look at Microsoft's buy of talkative AI specialist Nuance.Today's announcement follows reports that the purchase, an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7bn when announced in April 2021, was set to get a nod from EU regulators.To be clear, the CMA is only at the investigation stage and has invited comments from interested parties with a closing date of 10 January 2022. It is pondering if the results of the proposed acquisition will end up substantially hobbling competition and warrant a full blown enquiry. Continue reading SITUATION PUBLISHING The Next Platform DevClass Blocks and Files Continuous Lifecycle London M-cubed The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing SIGN UP TO OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER Subscribe Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021 Do not sell my personal information Cookies Privacy Ts&Cs