RISC-V H-extension freeze consideration


Anup Patel
 

Hi All,

The RISC-V H-extension v0.6.1 draft was released almost a year back in
May 2020. There has been no changes in the H-extension specification
since then.

Meanwhile, we have RISC-V H-extension v0.6.1 implemented in QEMU,
Spike, and Rocket FPGA. We also have three different hypervisors ported
to RISC-V H-extension v0.6.1:
1. Xvisor RISC-V (Works on QEMU, Spike, and Rocket FPGA)
2. KVM RISC-V (Works on QEMU, Spike and Rocket FPGA)
3. Bao (Works on Rocket FPGA)

Unfortunately, RISC-V H-extension not being in freeze state is now gating
further software development because major open source projects (such
as Linux RISC-V and GCC RISC-V) have adopted a policy of accepting patches
only for frozen or ratified RISC-V extensions.

Few examples of gated software development:
1. KVM RISC-V not merged in upstream Linux RISC-V. The KVM RISC-V
patches are already reviewed and acked by maintainers in July 2019.
Currently, we are rebasing KVM RISC-V patches with every kernel
release since 1.5+ years.
2. GCC RISC-V not accepting patches for H-extension related instructions
3. KVMTOOL RISC-V not merged because KVM RISC-V is not merged in
upstream Linux RISC-V
4. QEMU KVM RISC-V acceleration not merged because KVM RISC-V is
not merged in upstream Linux RISC-V
5. Various feature additions (such as SBI v0.2, nested, etc) can't happen
(or can't be merged) until KVM RISC-V is merged in Linux RISC-V
6. Libvirt library blocked on QEMU KVM RISC-V acceleration being
available. The Libvirt library is a crucial piece in open-source cloud
solutions (such as open-stack).
7. As time passes more items (such as KVM RISC-V AIA support) will
get blocked if KVM RISC-V is not merged upstream.

We would request the TSC to consider freezing RISC-V H-extension v0.6.1
draft specification. Remaining items in done checklist for ratification can
certainly be completed while H-extension is in the frozen state.

Best Regards,
Anup Patel

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