Saturday, 2022-04-02

programmerjakelkcl, reverse dns is still broken (idk if you tried to fix it again)02:20
emanuelHello, I wanted to ask in which countries Red Semiconductor woud produce the LibreSOC03:21
tplatenI tried to run a verilator simulation over night, in my microwatt branch, but as expected, I did not get any uart output. I have heard that there is a bug that needs to be fixed in microwatt related to wishbone addresses.08:03
lkclemanuel: you'll see this in the archives - answer is, world-wide distribution and we will use available Foundries.10:44
tplatenHow do I stop microwatt-verilator after a short time amount? after running about one minute, I got a broken vcd with this kind of error:14:44
tplatenNear byte 14323, $VAR parse error encountered with 'TOP.toplevel.soc0.processor_external.processor.\$auto$verilog_backendcc'14:44
tplatenI saw that there is TERMINATE_AT_COUNTDOWN, im using that15:07
tplatenSo even if I terminate microwatt-verilator after n cycles, I get that error from gtkwave.15:30
emanuellkcl: Since it is very costly to get the production started I concluded it would be difficult to move it someplace else. Is this correct? I do not think that there could be many chips manufactured in countries where work conditions are better than let's say in China or India, as that would be way too expensive. However, I am not sure if my thoughts are correct. If they are, on the other hand, wouldn't such a large dependency on15:38
emanuel(often undemocratic) states like China be problematic? I think you know way more about this than me, therefore I'm asking what you think about this.15:38
tplatenWith libre-silicon one could fabricate in any country, at least theoretically.15:40
emanuelI know, but quite some time ago I was told on this channel that getting the production started is extremely expensive and that it is planned for Red Semiconductor to produce the Libre-SOC so I would like to know where Red Semiconductor would be planned to do the crucial steps of manufacturing the Libre-SOC (those that are so expensive to get started) and how problematic you think15:56
emanuelthe production in undemocratic countries could be.15:56
tplatenI don't have any information about where Red Semiconductor could produce. Maybe in the EU, or in Silicon Saxony.15:59
tplatenI had a look at my version of microwatt-verilator, it seems that instruction fetch fails.16:00
emanuelWouldn't it be even more expensive to produce in the EU, are there any high-speed processors produced in the EU? How would this be possible to sell at an acceptable price? I am trying to understand.16:03
tplatenI know that Samsung produces flash-memory in South Korea, but I am unable to compare South Korea with the EU. Same for the US and Taiwan.16:07
tplatenWhen I run microwatt-verilator from the verilator_trace branch I get: pc              700 insn 48000000 msr 8000000000000001, pc never changes16:12
tplatenwhen I run my version top->nia_req never becomes true16:12
tplatenIn both cases the vcd files are broken.16:13
emanuelSo we both don't know if there are any high-speed processors produced in other countries than China, India and South Korea. Let's leave the question here like this, maybe someone who knows the answer will see it. I will check back later, thanks for answering and sorry I consumed your time.16:14
tplatenFor me that is not a problem, as that is my interest too.16:15
tplatenmost likely I have a reset address mismatch, but I'm not sure here16:23
tplatenI had forgotten to wire out some signals in fpga/top-generic.vhdl17:26
tplatenInstruction fetch seems to be working17:44
tplatenpc              700 insn 2020200a msr 800000000000000117:44
tplatenpc              704 insn 4f4f6f2e msr 800000000000000117:44
lkclemanuel: china is complex. it's a billion people, and it's not controlled by the "government", it's controlled (owned) by the Five Families.18:14
lkcleach Family is responsible for an astounding number of people, basically over a billion divided by five is the same population as the United States.18:15
lkclbottom line is that everything you've been told through a Western upbringing is pretty much flat-out wrong.18:16
lkclwhat we *do* have is a problem not caused by China but by the United States!18:16
emanuelWhich problem?18:17
lkclthe *United States* is acting in a deeply unethical and heavy-handed fashion, causing embargoes, creating Trade "wars" and so on, in its usual fashion that involves Oil and ensuring that its grip on world finance is kept by forcing everyone to use the U.S. as the world's Reserve Currency18:18
lkclRED Semiconductor has to navigate that, where Libre-SOC does not.18:19
lkclLibre-SOC is a pure Libre/Open venture, funded by NLnet under their mandate "Works for the Public Good".18:20
lkcland it will stay that way.18:20
lkclbut, obviously, a pure R&D FOSS Project ain't exactly gonna have the USD 16 million dropped into its lap to pay for 7 nm Mask Charges.18:21
lkcli mean, it'd be really nice: none of us would say "no" :)18:21
lkclwhich is where RED Semiconductor Ltd comes in, and it will be a "Practical Delivery Machine" for the production and sale of SoCs which "happen to use Libre-SOC Cores"18:22
lkclas such it will be subject to "the usual practical matters surrounding fabrication and sale of ASICs"18:23
lkclbasically, RED Semiconductor Lts faces exactly the same problems faced by18:24
lkclTexas Instruments18:24
lkcletc. etc. etc. etc. etc.18:25
lkclbottom line is, RED Semiconductor will make and sell commercial ASICs, world-wide, just like everyone else.  they will happen to be entirely transparent designs, and they will happen to use a Libre-SOC core.18:30
emanuelI don't think either of those two countries are doing much better deeds to the world than the other but I definitely prefer to live in a democracy than in a country "ruled by five families", to cite you. I generally would trust western media than other media since western countries are normally democracies where you don't have to fear that you might get arrested for saying something that some high people don't like. On the other19:04
emanuelhand, western media can be just as wrong as anything else since people might not be as well-informed or might lie. This problem is addressed by giving everyone the freedom of speech meaning if someone says something wrong another person will publicly prove it wrong. My view is that Chinese media is (deliberately) spreading an enormous amount of false information about western concepts like democracy with the intention to make pe19:04
emanuelple believe they where all bad so that people don't try to adopt them because that would mean those "five families" would loose power while the people would would have more to say. I also have a very critical view regarding the amount of surveillance and the social credit system in China as well as how these things are (ab-)used to keep people quiet. I am not some person who just watches the news, I sometimes do my own research19:04
emanuels well (using tools such as anonymisation networks, looking very close at things and going to less crowded places on the internet) so I think I know a little more than what you might think I know19:04
emanuelNonetheless there also have been quite some leaks about things going very wrong in the western world. The difference is that here we know and speak about them.19:06
emanuelThe leaks that I am talking about are not what Chinese media says about the western world but leaks like those from Edward Snowden.19:10
lkclhave you by chance read any Jack Reacher books, by Lee Child?19:11
lkcli just read "The Sentinel" (the 35th book)19:11
lkclit's pretty clear that the author is receiving some very good anonymous intel, "made up" as a "story".19:12
lkcla bit like how Anne McCaffrey used to co-author books with someone covering a particular Social Justice issue19:12
lkclthe Five Families own literally everything, including the banks. this is not easy for Westerners to comprehend, the sheer scope and scale, of any Family being in power in a country for literally thousands of years.19:14
emanuelWhat about the CCP? How much power would you say it possess in China?19:24
lkclhonestly i have no idea about the CCP.19:27
markoslkcl, to add my 2c to the discussion, the West also have a couple of families that in total own pretty much the whole world (see Rothchild, Rockefeller, and some other not so known names)19:27
lkcli have a reasonable handle on the West, and Asia, but virtually none on the CCP.19:27
markosproblem is if you start discussing this, you are immediately a conspiracy theorist and outright dismissed19:27
lkclmarkos, yeah my slightly-clueless-but-well-meaning friend tells me aaalll about the Rothchilds :)19:27
markoswell, there is a saying, "follow the money", do that and the whole world situation becomes pretty clear19:28
lkclall of these things we have to either be blissfully ignorant of, or filter-out-the-bullshit and stay on focus19:28
markosit's definitely not because of "democracy" that the whole of NATO is against Russia, nor do they care about Ukraine, in fact they put Ukraine in that position knowingly, they knew exactly how Putin would react and they did anyway19:29
lkclmarkos: yyep. problem is for most people the amounts involved are so vast that it's beyond their scope to imagine, and consequently they dismiss it (by any means)19:30
markosthe US and NATO is spending billions of USD on so-called "think-tanks" that estimate every possible outcome for such scenarios, so there are only 2 possible outcomes: a) they did not predict it which makes them stupid and useless -so dangerous b) they did predict it and let it unfold -also dangerous19:31
lkcli saw the figures on both the agricultural supplies, fertilizer, and the chemicals used for silicon ASIC manufacture19:31
lkclmy money's on the "Charlie Wilson's War" theory: (c) some Analysts *did* warn them... and the politicians decided to ignore it19:32
markosthe problem as usual with all such conflicts, it's always the innocents that pay the price19:32
* lkcl sighs19:32
lkclwell they're all "useless eaters" anyway, right?19:32
markosdepends who they eat, in Schwab's case I'd make an exception on cannibalism19:33
lkclagain i'm reminded of that slashdot article, the one about how power literally creates a reduction in empathy19:34
lkclThis even shows up in brain scans. Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University in Ontario, recently examined the brain patterns of the powerful and the not so powerful in a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine. He found that those with power are impaired in a specific neural process — mirroring — that leads to empathy...19:35
lkclPerhaps most distressing is that in lab settings the powerful can't address this shortcoming even if told to try. Subjects in one study were told that their mirroring impulse was the issue and to make a conscious effort to relate to the experiences of others. They still couldn't do it. Effort and awareness made no difference in their abilities...19:35
emanuelNow I see what you meant. It is true that money is very influential in everything that happens in the world. However, in a democracy people know their rights better and what these concepts try to do is separating the power across multiple institutions and multiple people. Democracy alone can't solve all issues but it at least requires the powerful ones to first "sell" what to do they want to people so they get their okay. It is19:51
emanuelvery unlikely that you will be persecuted and imprisoned for saying something they don't want you to say in the EU or the US while it is much more likely in China. (Exceptions apply for extreme cases: i.e. Snowden) The reason for this is that in western countries people are thought they would be in power since they live in a democracy. This makes them be tougher and one person can rely on the toughness of many others.19:51
lkclso, therefore, the most obvious "solution" to that is: to get people to fight each other. constantly be divided20:01
lkcland if you can say, ooo, i dunno, set up 100,000 "fake social media" accounts and/or hack into a few Diebold machines, then the underpinnings of that "democracy" are shot to s***20:02
lkclthat's why i recommended the Jack Reacher books (35 and 36)20:03
lkcland yet, all of this is still completely irrelevant to the goal of manufacturing ASICs.20:04
lkclit's simply... "background" as far as i'm concerned.20:04
lkclthings to "navigate around".20:05
lkclmarkos i'd be interested in your thoughts on SVP64 Branches at some point (one tuesday perhaps)
lkclwhich is moved to 21:00 UTC, but there's usually 1-2 people on a little earlier by appx 15 mins20:10
lkclthe basic idea is to turn the BO bit-testing of CR Fields into a *vector* of CR Fields to be tested, allowing those bits to be ANDed, ORed, NANDed or NORed together20:12
markoslkcl, yes sure20:12
lkclthe simplest version of why they exist is to be able to skip over a batch of parallel/vector instructions where you know that the predicate mask is all zeros (or all 1s)20:14
lkclno point wasting CPU cycles running a vector of nops when you *know* that they're all predicated out20:15
lkclso you need an instruction that says "if all the predicate bits / condition bits are zero (or all 1s) then jump over"20:15
lkclthat's the simple justification20:15
lkclthe more comprehensive story is: there's an astounding 128 possible variants of Vectorised-branch options.20:16
lkclyou'll love it :)20:17
emanuelDemocracy is there so people, if they really have to fight, don't do it physically but rather in a less destructive way. But you are right that this has gotten off topic so maybe we can get back to what was the topic before: Are there any high-speed processors produced in other countries than China, India and South Korea and where is RED Semiconductor planning to do the crucial parts of the manufacturing of the Libre-SOC? (You20:17
emanuelsaid it would be just as with other companies producing chips but you still did not mention any countries.)20:17
lkclIntel fabs, Global Foundries. Skywater, many others.20:18
lkclby the time we're ready there will be a glut of Fabs available20:18
lkclthere is absolutely no need - at all - to make any decisions or declare any hard intentions.20:18
lkcli know you do not believe i have answered: i have. i answered "we will do exactly what every other Fabless Semi Company does: use what is available at the time".20:19
lkclwe will do exactly what IBM does20:20
lkclwe will do exactly what Intel does20:20
lkclwe will do exactly what Freescale does20:20
lkclwe will do exactly what Texas Instruments does20:20
markosemanuel, I'm sorry to disappoint, but we don't have democracy right now, at least the majority of countries don't20:20
lkclmarkos, i didn't want to be the one to say it...20:21
emanuelI see, it is not decided yet as no one knows how the market will evolve. Thanks!20:21
lkclpretty much, yes.20:21
lkcl{Insert Stupid Country} might decide to {Insert Stupid Action} that destroys, limits or affects ability of {Insert Company Here} to manufacture ASICs at {Insert Foundry Here}20:22
lkclthe only reason that the United States has not attacked Europe and terminated Licensing Access to Cadence and Synopsis VLSI Tools is because ASML, the world's *ONLY* supplier of top-end Steppers, is in Europe (Netherlands)20:23
lkclfortunately, Mentor is now owned by Siemens (Germany) but that still isn't a guarantee20:24
markoslkcl, would the analogy to Arm be relevant?20:24
lkclthe entire situation's a goddamn f****g mess20:24
lkclARM is a Fabless Semi Design House20:24
lkclthey license world-wide (thousands of licensees) and do not manufacture, themselves20:25
lkclARM has other problems though.20:25
emanuelmarkos: This [21:20] is true but I am not sure we should continue discussing it here as it is off topic.20:26
markosemanuel, I agree, unfortunately even if we did, we could change a thing :(20:26
lkclSoftbank bought them as a way to make money. immediately they bought them, they jacked up royalties by USD 1.00 then borrowed heavily against the asset20:26
lkclthus they're massively in debt and NVIDIA only tolerated that because they needed to be "like Intel" and "like AMD" who have their own GPU and CPU20:27
lkclnow that deal's been shot to s***, ARM is in deep s***20:27
lkcltheir only way out is an IPO20:28
lkclbut, absolutely nobody who does any due diligence is going to invest in ARM when it's got billions of dollars of debt due to Softbank sucking it dry20:28
lkclthe *only way* for ARM to get "back into the black" is to fire its most expensive staff.20:29
lkclwhich happened last week20:29
lkclthey laid off a staggering 1/6th of the workforce20:29
markosnever heard of that20:29
lkclunnnfortunately, those "expensive staff" were all part of the R&D20:29
markoswow, that sucks20:29
lkclyeah it's not exactly made news yet.20:29
lkclwell, it's not about "sucks", it means that ARM's competitiveness is going to be obliterated in about 3 years time20:30
lkclbecause that's how long it takes to get R&D "ideas" through into actual silicon20:30
markoswell, Intel would not buy them, Nvidia also, but IBM might :D20:30
lkcltheir new CEO is an "Accountant Hatchet-job man"20:30
lkclpffh, no chance20:30
lkclIBM aren't stupid :)20:30
markosI wouldn't be surprised if they did20:30
markosit would actually be a very clever move from IBM20:31
lkclthey'd have to have a reaaallly good reason to write off tens of billions of dollars of debt.20:31
lkclNVIDIA obviously thought they could tolerate that kind of hit20:31
lkclfor a strategic gain20:31
markosin one stroke they would have 2 architectures and own the entire industry, both low end and high end20:31
lkclyyeahh but just like with NvIDIA they'd risk being investigated20:32
markosand IBM definitely can afford the money for that20:32
lkclwhat would they do with it, though?20:32
markosget back in the game?20:32
markosthey're starting to become irrelevant20:32
lkclthey're already making billions from Banking and Govt Contracts20:32
markosyeah, but sooner or later those cash cows will move to Arm/Intel20:33
lkclARM and Intel CPUs simply don't have the I/O bandwidth20:33
lkclit's not a coincidence that IBM POWER CPUs have always had well over twice the I/O throughput of any Intel or AMD processor20:34
markosnot right now, but unless IBM produce something really good after Power10, I don't see that continuing to be the case20:34
markosthe Ampere I have right now is way faster than my Talos II20:34
markoswell, access, I don't actually have an Ampere box here20:34
lkclwouldn't it be great if there was some small team that was, ooo, creating a massive modernisation of the Power ISA? :)20:35
markosand similarly Apple has proven that you can build incredibly powerful CPUs around Arm20:35
markoslkcl, hm, I wonder who would be so bold to go against such giants, must be some really driven, incredibly intelligent and possibly a little bit crazy people to do that :)20:36
lkclwhat they proved was that if you drop variable-width instruction encoding, you can drastically improve the throughput and sustain near-100% multi-issue out-of-order execution20:36
lkcland funnily enough, the Power ISA is (or was until v3.1 Prefixes were added) similarly a fixed-width ISA20:37
lkclPOWER9 has a dirty secret. actually two.20:37
lkcl1) Packed SIMD is s***20:37
lkcl2) there's a bottleneck on the L1 D/I Caches20:37
lkclif you make too heavy usage of "unrolling" such that your inner loop cannot fit within the L1 I-Cache, what you find is that the CPU stalls20:38
lkclthe reason is: the designers screwed up, and didn't make the pathways from L1 to L2 wide enough20:38
lkclso you get massive resource contention.20:39
lkclalso, yes, Apple also created a vast number of "accelerator co-processors"20:39
lkcloffloading main tasks to nicely-designed power-efficient specialist cores20:40
lkclwhich you'd never do in a Mainframe-like environment (Banking, number-crunching)20:40
lkclIBM bought Redhat though20:41
lkclthat *was* a strategic move that they needed to do.20:41
lkclthe entire Power ISA Software ecosystem has been slowly crumbling for over a decade because nobody in the dev-community can get affordable modern systems20:42
lkclmarkos, i *very deliberately* haven't gone against IBM. why do you think i left out VSX? :)20:42
lkclthat will make them happy because it's VSX that gets them their bread-and-butter money20:43
markosif what I heard is true, that won't be true for much longer but I cannot mention that20:44

Generated by 2.17.1 by Marius Gedminas - find it at!