The PULPino open-source microprocessor developed by researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bologna promises to make it easier for designers at universities and in small companies to develop low-cost wearable devices and chips for the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Open-source” is usually associated with software, but in recent years more and more open-source hardware has become available, including Arduino and Raspberry Pi. However, these devices are based on commercial microprocessors whose internal architectures are not published. Now the Swiss and Italian researchers have developed their own microprocessor system, which is completely open-source and enables everyone to use the system and adapt it as they wish.
The instruction set of the PULPino microprocessor is also open-source. The microprocessor is compatible with the RISC-V open-source instruction set developed at UC Berkeley. The PULPino has extremely low power consumption (the abbreviation PULP stands for “parallel ultra-low power”).