RISC-V’s Open-Source Architecture Shakes Up Chip Design

RISC-V makes it easier for companies to design and build specialized chips for graphics and the Internet of Things

2 min read
Illustration: Harry Campbell
Illustration: Harry Campbell

In the past decade, many technologists have adopted the mantra that software is eating the world. However, all of that software has to run on something. And that something is silicon.

Unfortunately, the chip world has hit a roadblock with the fade-out of Moore's Law.

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A Circuit to Boost Battery Life

Digital low-dropout voltage regulators will save time, money, and power

11 min read
Image of a battery held sideways by pliers on each side.
Edmon de Haro

YOU'VE PROBABLY PLAYED hundreds, maybe thousands, of videos on your smartphone. But have you ever thought about what happens when you press “play”?

The instant you touch that little triangle, many things happen at once. In microseconds, idle compute cores on your phone's processor spring to life. As they do so, their voltages and clock frequencies shoot up to ensure that the video decompresses and displays without delay. Meanwhile, other cores, running tasks in the background, throttle down. Charge surges into the active cores' millions of transistors and slows to a trickle in the newly idled ones.

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