Ars Technica summarises and looks at the various claims made by Micro Magic about their RISC-V core.
Micro Magic Inc.—a small electronic design firm in Sunnyvale, California—has produced a prototype CPU that is several times more efficient than world-leading competitors, while retaining reasonable raw performance.
We first noticed Micro Magic’s claims earlier this week, when EE Times reported on the company’s new prototype CPU, which appears to be the fastest RISC-V CPU in the world. Micro Magic adviser Andy Huang claimed the CPU could produce 13,000 CoreMarks (more on that later) at 5GHz and 1.1V while also putting out 11,000 CoreMarks at 4.25GHz—the latter all while consuming only 200mW. Huang demonstrated the CPU—running on an Odroid board—to EE Times at 4.327GHz/0.8V and 5.19GHz/1.1V.
Later the same week, Micro Magic announced the same CPU could produce over 8,000 CoreMarks at 3GHz while consuming only 69mW of power.
I have some major reservations about all of these claims, mostly because of the lack of benchmarks that more accurately track real-world usage. Extraordinary claims requite extraordinary evidence, and I feel like some vague photos just doesn’t to the trick of convincing me.
Then again, last time I said anything about an upcoming processor, I was off by a million miles, so what do I know?
Exactly! I’ve been trying for so long to encourage everyone to be patient and form their opinions based on data rather than marketing claims. It’s surprisingly difficult to convince people to detach themselves from preconceived opinions and look at the data sometimes.
Don’t beat yourself up, the M1 did well in some benchmarks and poorly in others. A lot of people only want to focus on the benmarks where it does well and ignore those where it is behind. This can be annoying when you try to have an objective conversation, but that is human nature I suppose, haha.
Post sell off of ARM I feel there has been an uptick in RISC-V astroturfing. I’m a bit sceptical of RISC-V as it seems more of an American thing and wonder if pushing RISC-V is less about technical and equity issues and more about who ultimately controls and influences the CPU platform.
Marketing especially unethical marketing by its nature is not about communication and persuasion on the merits but about subverting your judgement. It is indeed good advice to study the data and the rules behind what generated the data. Some scepticism and expertise is required and not everyone has the training or time or inclination for this. It’s the same with politics. Lobbyists and vested interests with deep pockets and now too many politicians spend more time leaning on marketing than creating good legal frameworks and policy based on the public interest.