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extra_specticles t1_j8cixcv wrote

But without a good market, will fade into non existence v Quickly.


AloofPenny t1_j8d22qr wrote

China is only able to use risc-v, so the support is clearly there


CirkuitBreaker t1_j8ep8hx wrote

China can also use MIPS since that ISA was also made open source.


extra_specticles t1_j8d2npt wrote

EDIT; So downvotes for pointing out that mainstream Chinese hardware will not be enough and that OS support is needed. And just to be clear I love Linux and have been using it since the 90s. It has never been mainstream consumer or business desktop/laptop will not so easily. Servers yes, desktops - no. No matter what you wish.

China may well make lots of components but the only OS they'll be able to make is Linux. Linux does not and will not have mainstream consumer and business appeal. The only OS that will come close is Android. I seriously doubt any Chinese laptop and Linux will get mainstream consumer and business appeal in the massive market of Europe/America/APAC. That's where the market for these is - and it won't happen. Windows and MacOS are far too entrenched for Android to have done anything in that space - and they've had years to try.


AloofPenny t1_j8d3oab wrote

Really? also, what are you even talking about. They didn’t used to make Windows or iOS for arm, but they do now. But keep shitting on something that still doesn’t even actually exist yet.


extra_specticles t1_j8d41ne wrote

ARM Windows has existed for absolutely years. First version was in 2011 iIIRC. I'm not shitting on things I don't know about - I'm just pointing out how I've seen the market evolve.


KingdomOfBullshit t1_j8dh00o wrote

Windows CE on ARM has an even longer history. I still miss my HP Jornada 720 with it's StrongARM SA-1110. Pretty sure I had that before or right around Y2K.


moepsenstreusel t1_j8dx6y4 wrote

Yeah, but Windows CE wasn't in any meaningful sense Windows.

It was one of the generation of puny, souped-up embedded OSes (Symbian, BlackBerry) that slimmed-down, desktop-class OSes iOS and Android killed.


KingdomOfBullshit t1_j8dy4eu wrote

Honestly though, Windows CE was the best of these for me. It had a proper GUI, networking support, compatibility with PowerPoint/Word/Excel, awesome battery life, good support for printing and external displays and a decent SDK. It lacked win32 support but it checked all the other boxes for me. Couldn't say that about any palm pilot I had.

Edit: forgot to mention that, of course I agree it was a different beast than windows


AloofPenny t1_j8d4jc2 wrote there you go. There’s the market. It exists already. Because the US forced it


extra_specticles t1_j8d4uqw wrote

Yes and like I said it may be the case for China. But outside of the restrictions on China - the most massive laptop markets do not use Linux. And it's won't happen in those markets until major desktop OS support is created from Windows and perhaps MacOs (which I doubt)


Arentanji t1_j8e4mdl wrote

It would be interesting to see what will develop in a new ecosystem where Windows and Intel do not dominate.


Pure_Swing2184 t1_j8d3qr7 wrote

No business appeal = 98% of all cloud and server market


extra_specticles t1_j8d4ajw wrote

I said "mainstream consumer and business appeal" this whole thread is about laptops, not servers. Linux OWNS the server space. Linux does not have any mainstream appeal in the LAPTOP space. No matter how much you try to take that quote out of context.


InevitableAd5222 t1_j8d9e4j wrote

>There are other larger / more mainstream markets but that does not diminish the money to be made/relevance of enthusiast tech. Raspberry Pi had 95.82 million GBP revenue. It is not Windows, but idk why people are saying it will "fade into non existence V Quickly". It is an open source spec not some new Phone, so how mainstream it is doesn't even seem like an applicable critique. This is a niche group of people so the market is not as big. It is like saying Ubuntu or Arch is not relevant and will fade into the abyss. It may not be relevant to you, but I mean even Slackware still has a community.


InevitableAd5222 t1_j8cz5zp wrote

What??? Tech enthusiast market is HUGE and enthusiasts love the idea of an open source standard like RISC-V w/ easy to fix/upgrade hardware for learning. Have you seen all the RISC-V posts on hacker news? Plus just look at Raspbery Pi demand.


BumderFromDownUnder t1_j8d4kr7 wrote

Enthusiast market isn’t huge at all. It’s literally the smallest out of the available markets. Corporate/business and “normal” user markets considerably dwarf “enthusiasts”


InevitableAd5222 t1_j8d8rbr wrote

There are other larger / more mainstream markets but that does not diminish the money to be made/relevance of enthusiast tech. Raspberry Pi had 95.82 million GBP revenue. It is not Windows, but idk why people are saying it will "fade into non existence V Quickly". It is an open source spec not some new Phone, so how mainstream it is doesn't even seem like an applicable critique. This is a niche group of people so the market is not as big. It is like saying Ubuntu is not relevant.


BostonDodgeGuy t1_j8dmxsp wrote

> Raspberry Pi had 95.82 million GBP revenue.

Do you have a source on that? Highest I saw after a quick googling was 71m. Though, that's revenue and not profit. Twitter makes a ton of revenue but no profit for example.


tastyratz t1_j8dpnbt wrote

> Raspberry Pi had 95.82 million GBP revenue

Raspberry Pi makes a lot of their money selling to businesses for commercial use.

A small powerful lightweight power efficient computing device is of course very popular to install in many kinds of equipment, not just makers.


Diablojota t1_j8ddkpi wrote

That’s a very niche market with those revenues in the tech space. Not saying they won’t do well, but it’ll come down to price. It won’t succeed if it doesn’t align with the niche market at a price they’re willing to pay in terms of features and benefits. The question will be, so they get enough sales to get the scale necessary to make this cost effective.


Gschu54 t1_j8dqug4 wrote

Right, edge computing. Very different than desktop/laptop.


extra_specticles t1_j8d3151 wrote

Yes, the market is POTENTIALLY huge - but without major h/w & OS vendor support it's not going to be massive. The open desktop market has only existed in part due to the fact that (A) the h/w was always open right back to the original IBM PC, and (B) OS/software support for a large number so hardware components. Don't get me wrong I'd love to see it, but I've been in the tech industry for over 40 years and I'm not going to hold my breath.

PI Demand - even then the pi was available (and it's coming back online for Q3 this year) the number of laptops with it? You might think the appeal of such hardware configurations is high, but without mainstream OEM hardware vendors (DELL, LENOVO etc) they will not succeed in the consumer and business markets. What will make it happen is if Windows introduces a version for it. This of course is a possibility - however, Microsoft will need to come up with something like Apple's Rosetta for ARM to enable x86 apps to run. Again this is not something that they can't do - but they've certainly not been able to do it for their ARM Windows yet.


InevitableAd5222 t1_j8dbps6 wrote

Ten years after the first Raspberry Pi was shipped in 2012, more than 40 million of the devices have been sold worldwide, creating a market worth in excess of $1 billion, plus more in peripherals



extra_specticles t1_j8esig7 wrote

The original post is not about SBC it's about modular laptops. No one is saying riscv SBC would not be a big market. The whole thread was about laptops and their marketplace.


Gschu54 t1_j8drh6h wrote

Rpi's and the rest of the single board computers are basically cell phones. They are not really close to being laptops.

Hell I have sbcs with literal cell phone processors and the os that's packaged for it is an AOSP variant, not a native Linux variant.


InevitableAd5222 t1_j8d9ry1 wrote

I agree with 90% of that, at least about how applicable to broader market it will be. But look at Arch and Slackware. Tech like RISC-V can exist SOLELY from communities and still end up becoming worth a lot of money. Like RedHat lots of money. Also about Pi: (that is a MASSIVE market to any startup founder) Saying that 1 billion usd is failure in consumer market is just not true.


Also asking how many laptops with Pi is not the right question, people wanted it as its own little SOC motherboard not in a laptop. Putting the single board in a laptop kinda defeats the whole tinkering purpose and how would they expose GPIO pins? A laptop for the pi is just a case with a keyboard and built-in monitor, most people in this niche would rather just keep the easier physical access and use external monitor + SSH.


yapyd t1_j8d5k15 wrote

How many laptops have you seen with Linux (excluding chromebooks)?


InevitableAd5222 t1_j8d8cu8 wrote

Most corp latops I worked on ran Linux. Every computer at Google I saw ran Linux or OSX. All of my personal laptops including the laptop I wrote this comment on (System76:


jwkdjslzkkfkei3838rk t1_j8f6qyq wrote

Most of our Indian collagues run Linux on their Thinkpads. I don't know how widespread it is in India, but even a few percent is a lot of laptops, when Hyderabad alone has 6 times as much people working in IT as Silicon Valley.


[deleted] t1_j8dg65g wrote

Look at how thick that thing is. No one will want to use it. Will probably be very hard to even find a bag that supports it.


NMS-Town t1_j8cqxwc wrote

I know at least a few Flutter developers that are excited about the chip. I don't know about a laptop, but some developers are playing around with the chip, so who knows what kind of useful software targets it.

I know there's also a Go language package for it, but a laptop form will make it easier to play with, so yeah it could also end up becoming a hot little item for testing.

On top of that you talking expandability? A tinkerers dream machine.


LazySko t1_j8dpog0 wrote

Do you think having it in a laptop form factor is going to open up new spaces or will it even enable the existing ones to develop faster?

I am thinking of the embedded systems space, is this going to be better/cheaper to use than a JTAG? I would think not, since you would need to emulate the device instead of just using one, but curious to see what people here think.


Avieshek OP t1_j8emir6 wrote

  1. Laptop/Tablet (mobile) form factor.
  2. Ubuntu/Windows (software) accessibility.
  3. Low-price (affordability) that allows penetration into mass deployments first like schools or enterprise.

It checks two of the boxes out of three, not holding breath for Windows support but System76's Pop!_OS is a fork of Ubuntu and from someone that sells hardware - if we can all come together and focus on one distro like Asahi Linux on macOS systems then this would be a go like the growth of Chromebooks which is lesser than the adoption of Ubuntu based devices outside of US (like India) because when a central body buy for others (Institutions, Governments…) they want the most viable (or cheapest) price-to-performance ratio without the marketing shenanigans.

Tl;dr – OS would determine the state of its success, support can quickly build up wherever the numbers are if it gradually builds up its userbase. Enough numbers, then Microsoft wouldn't be too far away too in the future of Cloud systems.


LazyBird55_X t1_j8cjuyp wrote

And CNBC will be like "if you don't want to constantly be tracked by Microsoft and Apple, here's an alternative"


MrMobster t1_j8d3l9n wrote

It will be also slow, bulky and generally useless except to a few tinkerers.


DogmaticLaw t1_j8dvvuu wrote

Also probably more expensive than a regular laptop!

Also exists only as a render. A shitty render. I will be shocked if this even makes it to prototype.


MrMobster t1_j8dwqwi wrote

Yeah, the render looks a little bit like a parody on "designed by GNU" :D


[deleted] t1_j8dzlkd wrote



MrMobster t1_j8e3bn6 wrote

I would think that it might be much easier to get a used PC laptop for cheap in a developing nation than an esoteric machine like this. Plus, people there are often more concerned with survival and sustenance, so they more interested in a computer that can be actually used to generate some form of revenue (and software compatibility is a big factor here). Not to mention that previous initiatives like OLPC have failed to achieve any noteworthy success. And Raspberry Pi's are used by hobbyists and tinkerers mostly in the West, hardly in developing countries. So I kind of doubt this particular angle makes much sense.

Looking at the Balthazar project webpage it seems like one of the envisioned usage scenarios is the classroom... but from the rhetorics and promises it kind of sounds to me like it is done by a bunch of people stuck inside a certain ideology bubble. Very few people are interested in that kind of stuff and GNU apostles are unfortunately known for being rather out of touch with reality.


caspy7 t1_j8ezio9 wrote

> generally useless

Firefox now has JavaScript JIT acceleration for their RISC-V builds. Most of what I do is in the browser (and all of it could be in the browser) so doesn't seem generally useless to me.


sdwvit t1_j8dz6m8 wrote

Jesus christ hire a designer


ImperiumInfernalis t1_j8i0ofl wrote

The concept rendering is just absolutely ugly and I cannot imagine anyone wanting that.


MobiusOne_ISAF t1_j8lx1jo wrote

The open-source community tends to have this bizarre aversion to feedback from UI/UX experts.


pressedbread t1_j8lpie1 wrote

Keyboard isn't even Dvorak, this entire project is worthless


nipsen t1_j8cvmkf wrote

Great. Now we just have to avoid lawsuit from Intel for stealing their patent on "personal computer"...


imposter22 t1_j8e0uyg wrote

Intel helps develop RISC V and they make the chips. Moving people away from ARM is helpful to Intel.

Also ARM isnt open-source and its not free. So there is a cost to build off their IP

I could see this being good for IoT.


nipsen t1_j8ewzay wrote

None of the terms you wrote there make any sense. And the rest is at best just false.

But if it helps you support something that doesn't suck the air out of the global integrated curcuit market, with the great power of your opinon on the Internet -- sure, buddy. I'm sure it'll be great for the Internet of Things..

Seriously, though -- what in the world do you mean with any of that?


imposter22 t1_j8fq2oy wrote

I’m not sure what you dont understand.

RISC V is a competitive chip architecture to ARM.

Intel produces RISC-V chips in one of their foundries.

Intel also joined the RISC-V international.


nipsen t1_j8hp1ym wrote

a) RISC-V is a general, abstract and formulaeic scheme for how computing elements will work together. There's nothing that stops Intel from offering their compute elements as part of a RISC-V design. Which will have very obvious usage-scenarios, and will have abysmal performance. But there is nothing stopping Intel from doing that.

b) There are parts of Intel that certainly had ambitions of not being married to the cisc-designs from the 90s forever. But those parts of the company mysteriously suffer layoffs, or else are shut down altogether. Projects they are involved in - by sheer chance, I'm sure - end up modifying the prototypes to include monolithic designs with "secret" cisc-optimisation on closed fpga-solutions.

c) Although Intel were promoting a "silicon pre-production stage" of Risc-V chips, this project is now cancelled. They are not producing any Risc-V chips -- no one are producing Risc-v chips. There will be chips based on the schema, for certain, but they will not be the kind of chip that will have the makeup of a protected, instruction set bound specific fpga. In other words: nothing stops Intel from marketing their bullshit offering as "RISC-V", even though they might not offer much in terms of performance, or really use the overall schema at all. That's what they have been gearing up towards, and that's what failed. That's why they now have nothing in it. It's literally not compatible with their "Business model".

d) The Risc-V international foundation - by sheer chance, I'm sure - has relocated to Switzerland in order to specifically -- by sheer chance -- escape very specific concerns about US trade regulations and potential lawsuits.

e) The contribution to this foundation from Intel was 1bn dollars. It's a vanishingly small sum in the sceme of things.

Lastly: is really Risc-V a competitor to arm? I hear tons of people say that, and I certainly read it in industry insider-infested american (spiritually or otherwise) publications. But is it really the case?

What is the case is that ARM offers a very specific type of solution where their basic functions can be enhanced by adding various instruction sets. The m1 at Appul is probably a well known enough example, where adding instruction sets to the hardware layer, both programmable to a certain extent and specified on beforehand, is part of the design. A lot of Arm's customers do not use this part of the design at all, though. And there has been a very specific push from Qualcomm, among others, to gear ARM into having higher core-speeds and better out of order single instruction performance.

ARM's reaction to that has been to produce what the customers want, but there is a very obvious problem here in that as these chips are more and more geared into where the design just does not have any actual strengths - that it will be immediately gobbled up by if not Intel's x86 offerings, then AMD's. So as an alternative Risc-based schema takes shape -- a screaming necessity if you know anything useful about programming, I could add -- what that means is that ARM will then be able to compete with general Risc designs on specific applications. While the codebase that is needed for both ARM and RISC-V to have any point whatsoever - will be developed.

As opposed to being supplanted by an attempt to get x86 into the mobile sphere, and into anything, like Intel has been attempting for decades now. And where they actually have succeeded to a certain degree thanks to the power of marketing, lawsuit and a throwaway budget for this that dwarfs the GDP of a medium-sized European country.

So no - ARM is not a direct competitor to RISC-V, or vice-versa. The road back to RISC will happen, and Intel will not be part of that. At least not in the way the company does business now, or the way it has done business in the past. Intel will disappear as the company it is now, if it even becomes involved with making general contributions to Risc-V schema type chip clusters. And that's just not going to change, regardless of how many billions of dahllars go into marketing.

You will claim differently until the end of time, I'm sure. But your opinon, as shocking as it may seem, does not, in fact, alter reality.


carl_on_line t1_j8qyba8 wrote

> RISC V is a competitive chip architecture to ARM.

RISC-V is not a chip architecture (micro architecture), it's an instruction set architecture.


dajigo t1_j8dtdvu wrote

Patents expire. What is the priority of Intel's patent?


nipsen t1_j8eyvsi wrote

I don't know. No one does, after many, many years. I mean, other than screwing over competition with legal wrangling.

The joke is that Intel has very literally stalled or outright managed to crush several attempts to put x86 instruction set emulators and cisc-implementations on various RISC-computers, now that the instruction set level storage is no longer prohibitively expensive on a computation unit. The actual legal details of this ongoing feud is so sordid and ridiculous at the same time, that in several cases even completely blank judges have decided the arguments don't hold up. But at the moment, if you wanted to do cisc-type optimisation of an x86 emulation engine, whether this is programmable instruction sets or not, this runs afoul Intel's definition of PC. So does chip-constructions that simply store instruction sets on general computation cores.

So there is in a sense still a requirement that an abstraction of a RISC-implementation cannot actually use x86 instruction sets at all. Which is why it is such a big deal that google throws it's weight behind a general Risc-v abstraction layer, in an attempt to make this a full ecosystem. I'm sure Intel will stick to the existing market forever in the same way. And surely there will be endless amounts of lawsuits coming the instant someone figures out how to emulate x86 VMs with any speed on Risc-V architectures. And at this point I wouldn't even be surprised if Intel will claim that any architecture technically capable of execution an emulated x86 instruction set in hardware will infringe on this utility of the x86 instruction set Intel has defined as a PC.

Anyway - at some point Intel will be gone, and this idiocy will end. But judging by how it's being done now, it won't end until the company is bankrupt.


[deleted] t1_j8drzz4 wrote



Aggressive_Bill_2687 t1_j8dz643 wrote

The RAM is on a board with the CPU, that board is removable and thus upgradable.

I think a better analogy here is: you can upgrade your transmission but you also have to change your engine at the same time (even if it may be for the same spec engine).


cgfn t1_j8d58i9 wrote

Sounds RISC-y


firstpostfirstpost t1_j8e07kw wrote

Trackpad on top of the keyboard. Did AI design this!?


HalcyonEnder t1_j8f0aty wrote

After seeing this i was like “this reminds me of something…” and I TOTALLY forgot about the OLPC!!!! Damn. It’s been awhile


foreskin_trumpet t1_j8ga1lh wrote

So it’s basically just an adult version of OLPC?

I’m getting major One Laptop Per Child vibes off this thing. Both the hardware and the concept.


Blapanda t1_j8de7pz wrote

Mostly a tinkerer laptop it is. A regular consumer or hardcore hardware torturer (be it gaming, rendering, programming engines) won't benefit from it.


garry4321 t1_j8eak6z wrote

They have come out with these modular laptops and phones like a million times. There are a ton of reasons why they suck and wont ever reach production.


yoniyuri t1_j8h7794 wrote

Have you seen framework? Those are not half bad. The modularity is mostly with the ports, but most everything is replaceable and upgradable. Not perfect by any means, but taking that approach doesn't have to mean the laptop has impractical tradeoffs.


iDuddits_ t1_j8d6x6l wrote

Those renderings and that name scream suspicious


Defoler t1_j8dqt73 wrote

Has any DIY/open-souce/linux based portable machines ever really went successful beside a concept?
All those open phones, easy upgradeable laptops / mobile devices, has any of them actually succeeded?

Even if a new niche markets do accept them, it is never enough to really succeed.
It is a nice concept but I don't think it is going to really go on battle a multi trillion market against samsung/dell/lenovo/apple etc.


Notabug255 t1_j8dutma wrote

But is battling them even a goal for open-source?


Defoler t1_j8egd5c wrote

I think so.

I mean, you can release it as a niche, make some money, and then disappear as the project dies down. Mostly what most of those companies do.
But if you plan to stay relevant and make it long lived, you will want to take some part of the market. Even 0.01% is a big part of the market.

But even to reach that, you need to make people who buy a dell/whatever and put a linux on it, buy your platform instead. And if all they do is concept and open-source, I don't think it will ever really catch on beside maybe a few influences in that market who will make content out of it.

Besides, what is the point if you don't want to enter the market?


Notabug255 t1_j8fmrgc wrote

I see your point, but maybe I just think differently. I don't think hitting the market necessarily needs to be a point of open-source or open-hardware. But this might just be about values and ideals, it really won't get widespread adoption unless people move into it after all.


Defoler t1_j8fprng wrote

> I don't think hitting the market necessarily needs to be a point of open-source or open-hardware.

So what is the whole point if you don't want to be in a market?
Just releasing a concept is completely mute if there are no products, no pushing for the technology to be adopted.
It is like inventing a flying car, only not to actually make one. Yeah its cool you invented it. But... it is irrelevant if there are no actual flying cars to buy or use.

In order to move into it, you need products, support, something to drive people to move into it. That the people around them start using it, they start using it, more companies and more support, more hardware connectivity and more upgrade and support from different chip manufacturers.

Without any of that, it will be just like that cool replaceable modular mobile phone. Cool concept, irrelevant since it doesn't really exist. Did the idea drove anything? Did it have value? Not really. Anyone moved into it? No.
Same here. Why? Because no product existed to drive that market forward.

And just to drive that point in.
There was that company that made hand help little and terrible computers that did not last long not were any powerful.
But the did have a product, that sold a tiny bit compared to the whole market.
And it was the single thing that drove what we know today as a smartphone.
The palm pilot.
Because there was a product. They made them. They showed “see!? It can be done!”. And the market took notice, and to one company in particular. And the rest is our current time.
Do you think we would be here if it was just a concert with no application? Maybe but much later.


silverjad3 t1_j8cluxc wrote

  • It will be slower
  • Cost more
  • And likely have a subscription
  • And likely track you and send your data to China

RegularCloud402 t1_j8dcvwe wrote

It’s open source so anyone can make it. If you buy one from a sketchy company that has a subscription and sends your data to china that is your problem.


onsapp t1_j8dqf9a wrote

I’ve been working with riscv for the better part of a year. It’s not slower to the average end user (only noticeably slower for intensive research applications). It costs significantly less. The barebones architecture of tracking is not applicable to riscv architecture. That is external and would apply to potentially any add on microchips in the computer but not the core(s) of the processor itself.

Source: computer architecture and computer engineering student