Here is ROMA, the first laptop with RISC-V processor

It is pronounced red and translates to “open source instruction standard based on the reduced instruction set computer “. If you have not yet understood what we are referring to, do not despair: for the moment you just need to know that ROMA will be the first laptop to use the RISC-V processor , an architecture still little used for devices intended for the general public.

This is, if successful, a huge step forward in the development of portable computers. The laptop is manufactured by DeepComputing and Xcalibyte , two Chinese companies that have started a collaboration to bring architecture to laptops as well.

The RISC-V architecture

The reduced instruction set computer is opposed to the complex instruction set computer (CISC) for the number and complexity of the instructions : in the first case the number is very small and the instructions less complex than in the second. For this reason, RISC is able to execute instructions quickly, with simple techniques which, if they favor the speed of execution, however, generate more code that takes up more memory than that of a CISC architecture.

roma heat-v processor

If on the one hand, therefore, the instructions are executed in a single machine cycle, on the other hand, being more complex, they require more CPU cycles to be completed. Modern CPUs are not exclusively RISC or CISC, but they use both design philosophies . Intel and AMD are more oriented towards complex instructions, while Apple , before moving on to Intel Core processors, had followed the RISC architecture more.

The RISC-V is based precisely on the RISC principle and is published under an open source license. The term five refers to the number of the architecture generation, with the first dating back to 1981. There are many projects underway that aim to use RISC-V as an architecture for laptops, mobile devices and even supercomputers.

ROMA, the laptop with RISC-V processor

For ROMA DeepComputing and Xcalibyte have decided to try the RISC-V architecture , designing a laptop that is very different from modern ones. The laptop will have a quad-core CPU, GPU and NPU ( Neural Processing Unit) for 3D acceleration. It will be equipped with 256 GB of SSD and 16 GB of RAM. It will support most Linux systems and will be available in two versions: a standard 28 nanometer and a 12 nanometer version.

With built-in POS, NFT and the MetMask wallet, ROMA was born for the metaverse. This is the laptop of the future. We will do everything we can to provide the best development experience with native RISC-V architecture.

Yuning Liang, founder and CEO of Xcalibyte and DeepComputing

The laptop was primarily intended for developers writing code for RISC architecture . The ROMA laptops that can be purchased will be very few, at least at the beginning: the company reserves the right to evaluate the actual success of the laptop in the months after distribution. The packaging with which the laptop will be sold can be transformed into a PC support.

When it comes out?

The hype is already skyrocketing and many are wondering when ROME will be available for purchase. Xcalibyte has already opened pre-orders for the laptop . The first 100 who order the laptop will be given an NFT that celebrates the birth of the first laptop with RISC-V architecture, as well as the ability to personalize the laptop with your own name.

Credits: RISCV blog
The ROMA laptop. Credits: RISCV blog

The company has not yet revealed the release date, but given the opening of pre-orders, the laptop will not be long in coming. The laptop could be available as early as the end of this year or at the latest at the beginning of 2023. No information also for the price: on the pre-order page there are no indications regarding the cost of the laptop.

All that remains is to wait for the release of the laptop to evaluate if RISC-V can really be marketed also in large-scale distribution devices and if it will become a valid alternative to the “classic” processors.

The article Here is ROMA, the first laptop with RISC-V processor was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .