Presented by

  • Alistair Francis

    Alistair Francis

    Alistair contributes to and maintains a range of different software projects, from low level operating systems to high level system applications. He istasked with developing and maintaining the QEMU software emulation platform for RISC-V. He has contributed to glibc, strace, OpeOCD, Oreboot, OpenEmbedded, Linux, Xvisor, OpenSBI, seL4 and a variety of other projects. He is also actively working on supporting Tock and the Tock ecosystem on the OpenTitan platform.

  • Hugh Blemings

    Hugh Blemings

    Hugh has had a long standing association with Free and Open Source Software, Open Hardware and, in particular, Linux and POWER/PowerPC. His career has spanned everything from Linux kernel development to engineering team management, electronics design to product management at the likes of IBM, Canonical and AWS. A long time participant in the free technical commons, he has previously served in a voluntary capacity on the Council of Linux Australia in various roles including President and is a former member of the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board. Hugh served as the Executive Director of the OpenPOWER Foundation and was instrumental in the opening up of the POWER ISA to be an Open ISA. As a Senior Technical Program Manager, Hugh currently wrangles the Linux operating systems used at Amazon Web Services on a surprisingly large number of computers with a particularly fun bunch of folk.


The recent phenomenal growth of RISC-V and OpenPOWER proves that Open CPU architectures are no longer only an academic project but are a serious contender among commercial processor architectures. Thanks to the active contributions from both industry pioneers and academic researchers, we are entering into an exciting era of open source hardware designs ranging from micro-controllers to server class enterprise systems backed by a growing open source ecosystem, constantly evolving and improving. A growing variety of hardware based on Open ISAs like RISC-V, OpenPOWER and others are becoming available, allowing a larger choice of end applications beyond embedded micro-controllers. At the chip level Open ISAs allow new extensions and specialised compute functions to be added - something we are now seeing in production systems. In this presentation we will give an update on the state of play of Open ISAs. With a new OpenPOWER and RISC-V announcements made in 2020 there is more to talk about, following on from the Open ISA miniconf at LCA2020. The relevance of OpenISAs to the broader Open source community/technical commons grows daily and with increasing consolidation of vendors in the closed CPU space, it is even more important that we focus on OpenISAs if we are to continue to enjoy viable libre computing alternatives.