Introducing Greg & Tom
Greg Chadwick and Tom Roberts recently joined lowRISC’s growing engineering team. They’ve both taken some time to share a little about what they’re doing at lowRISC and what motivated them to join.
“It’s an exciting time to join the lowRISC team! Our Ibex core provides a solid foundation and clearly demonstrates the value of open source silicon, which I’m excited to be working on. My work so far has focused on the performance of Ibex; whilst it’s not intended as a high performance core there are various things we can do to improve it without major impact to area or power. I’m experimenting with these improvements as well as building infrastructure to help profile program execution. I’ll be writing some blog posts to explain these as the work progresses. On top of that I’ve been writing some more Ibex documentation to go into the details of how the pipeline works, you can check it out at https://ibex-core.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ .
“Before lowRISC I worked at Arm and Broadcom. At Arm I worked as a design engineer on the memory systems of A-class CPU cores. During my time there I worked on the Cortex-A55, Cortex-A65AE and Neoverse E1, as well as yet unannounced products. I was also involved in designing memory system microarchitecture and analysing performance. At Broadcom I worked on the V3D GPU (as seen in the Raspberry Pi) where again I was involved in microarchitecture and performance analysis.
“At lowRISC, I am going to utilise my industry experience to help produce high quality IP. I enjoy the opportunity to work in the open, in a collaborative fashion and hope we can drive the industry forward with new tools and techniques that might otherwise remain siloed and locked up in closed source companies.
“I’m interested in seeing how much of the hardware design process we can open up at lowRISC. Right now to achieve a high-quality tapeout proprietary tools, documentation and libraries are required. This contrasts hugely with the software world where industry leading tools, like GCC and LLVM, and industry leading software, like the Linux kernel, are open. It’s a massive challenge, but by developing high quality IP we can help drive forward open silicon tools and contribute to them ourselves. By sharing our work with great documentation and writing about how we did it all we can help others follow in our footsteps and explore new paths.”
“Now is a very exciting time to be involved in open source silicon, and lowRISC is at the heart of it. Change is coming to the industry as a whole, not just to silicon IP, but from EDA tools all the way to fabrication. I joined lowRISC to be part of the changes, and to help shape the future of the semiconductor industry.
“Prior to joining lowRISC, I worked at Arm in various CPU design and verification roles. There I gained experience of high-quality low-power design and industry leading design verification techniques. In my time at Arm I contributed to various CPU products, including Cortex-R7, Cortex-M7, Cortex-A53, Cortex-A65AE, Cortex-A55 and other as-yet unannounced designs.
“Since joining lowRISC in August I have been working on improving the Ibex CPU as well as investigating new approaches to design verification. I am looking forward to what the future holds!”
We’re thrilled to have Greg and Tom onboard to help propel our open source hardware efforts forward. We have a number of open job openings - take a look at our jobs page to find out more.
Alex Bradbury, CTO and Co-Founder