In this episode of the Hardware Podcast, we talk with Jonathan Bachrach, a professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) Department at UC Berkeley, and co-founder of Otherlab, a research-driven lab and incubator that sits at the intersection between software and machines.
- The RISC-V open source instruction set architecture developed at Berkeley that promises to bring high-performance computing to almost any venue, from cloud clusters to embedded systems
- Chisel, a new hardware description language from Berkeley
- “The new industrial revolution,” which in Bachrach’s view includes new ways of fabricating chips, reconfigurable computing, and 3D-printed electronics
- The Emacs text editor, Bachrach’s indispensable tool
This week’s click spirals:
- Jon Bruner: A suggestion from listener Andrew Cedotal: The SAM Simulator, software that gives you the experience of launching Cold War-era surface-to-air missiles. It promises an accurate representation of some of history’s most famous surface-to-air kills, including the 1960 U-2 spy plane incident. The simulator’s creator gave an interview in 2014 that’s worth reading.
- David Cranor: Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) – batteries powered by nuclear energy, and the story of the 1973 debut of nuclear-powered pacemakers.
- Jonathan Bachrach: The experiences of people who attempt to create new programming languages themselves.