Libre RISC-V GPU Aiming For 2.5 Watt Power Draw Continues Being Plotted

Written by Michael Larabel in RISC-V on 18 February 2019 at 06:16 AM EST. 49 Comments
Besides having a dedicated Intel GPU to look forward to in 2020, the effort around creating an open-source RISC-V architecture based graphics processor continues being spearheaded by Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton and other libre hardware developers.

This is the ambitious effort for effectively creating a RISC-V-based Vulkan accelerator that hopes to be able to achieve 25 FPS @ 720p, 5~6 GFLOPs. Part of how they plan to make a RISC-V based GPU viable is via their Simple-V extension for RISC-V. While the performance target is incredibly lax by today's standards, they do plan for an aggressive power consumption target of just about 2.5 Watts.

Creating this "Libre RISC-V M-Class" certainly remains a uphill battle... More like a mountain trek. But Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton and the others involved continue working on the design for this hypothetical chip. Once firming up the design, they'll still likely need to take to crowdfunding to get to the stage of being able to manufacture this RISC-V chip. And at this stage they aren't planning on making a discrete graphics card itself but hopes that this "100% libre RISC-V + 3D GPU chip" will be used for handheld/mobile devices.

For those interested in all the juicy technical details regarding their proposed chip design, there is a new blog post detailing their current thinking by L.K.C.L.

For their Vulkan implementation they continue pursuing the Rust-based Kazan implementation and on that front there is the Kazan Docs with their latest vision of the Simple-V extension for RISC-V and other design elements for making this Vulkan software implementation more efficient.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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