One of the clear movements that we are going to see in the coming years if the ARM purchase is executed by NVIDIA is going to be the attempt to deploy in the market gaming PCs with ARM CPUs connected via NVLink to NVIDIA RTX 30 architecture GPUs. It has led many industry players to consider jumping to RISC-V by putting ARM on the sidelines. But RISC-V despite its completely free and open nature is not an architecture that is becoming popular for gaming.
They manage to connect an AMD RX 6700 XT with an ISA RISC-V CPU
Who has succeeded is the computer scientist René Rebe who has managed to modify the Linux kernel so that the RISC-V CPU integrated in his HiFive Unmatched Board communicates with an AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT.
It took me ten hours to debug and patch the Linux kernel to support the additional requirements of AMD GPUs on RISCV64 and to be able to use the newly released AMD RX 6700 XT.
To make this possible, Rebe has used the HiFive Unmatched, which is a development board with a CPU that has the RISC-V register set and instructions. Which is used for the development of software compatible with said ISA at the desktop and server level. Rebe has managed to activate hardware acceleration in both hardware rendering and video acceleration, being the first time that someone has managed to synchronize a gaming GPU with a RISC-V CPU
Of course, the CPU bottlenecks the GPU in terms of performance, but the important thing is not the power obtained, but what has been achieved, since it marks an important change in the adoption of RISC-V.
RISC-V Going for the High Computing Market?
For years, in supercomputers, it has been necessary for a long time to reach maximum power the combination of a CPU for serial code processing and a GPU for parallel processing. While Intel, AMD and NVIDIA are developing proprietary platforms where CPU, GPU and the interconnection between them are of their own brand and make use of proprietary technologies. The ability to connect a GPU like the RX 6700 XT to a RISC-V CPU opens up the possibility of creating server-grade systems that don’t rely on the big three brands.
It is more than clear that the first to want to use RISC-V in the middle of the trade war with the United States in China, let’s not forget that they recently introduced a GPU for computing at the level of the latest NVIDIA Tesla and AMD Instinct. The combination of RISC-V, Linux as an operating system and its dedicated GPU may be the basis for many future supercomputers developed and deployed by China and in countries within its political and commercial orbit.