[Arm-netbook] Heads up, RISC-V doing a world tour

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Wed Feb 20 23:59:36 GMT 2019

crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68

On Wed, Feb 20, 2019 at 7:54 PM David Niklas <doark at mail.com> wrote:
> Hash: SHA256
> Or at least it looks like that:
> https://sifivetechsymposium.com/
> Might be interesting to attend (I can't).
> Especially to ask what to do about the companies that are already
> breaking the license of RISC-V.

 that's easy to answer: whilst companies *should* obtain an "official"
JEDEC designation which should go into the mvendor id field of the
hardware, as long as they do not claim it is "RISC-V" they are ok
(Trademark Law).

 in addition, if they make *modifications* to the instruction set,
that's ok too, as long as, again, they do not claim it is "RISC-V".

 this is absolutely fine for say a proprietary secret company
developing a proprietary secret product where the firmware will never,
under any circumstances, see the light of day.  examples include
Trinamic's excellent new Stepper Motor Controller ICs, where the
firmware is likely to be actually in ROM, on-chip.

 where the RISC-V Foundation's half-cocked approach becomes seriously
problematic is as follows:

 * when a Commercial Project needs to release PUBLIC modifications
(custom extensions) which *HAVE* to make their way into general
wide-spread use

 * when a Libre Commercial Project needs to DEVELOP public
modifications (custom extensions) because the RISC-V Foundation forces
all and any development of modifications to go through an official
"ratification process".

there *is* no room for Libre *COMMERCIAL* products to interact with
RISC-V Foundation members because all RISC-V Foundation members are
forced to sign an agreement (for cross-licensing and patent protection

this is clearly violating FRAND terms of Trademark Law, by being
"Discriminatory" against Libre Commercial products.

it is quite clear that the RISC-V Founders never envisaged a scenario
where Libre *COMMERCIAL* products would ever be successful.


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