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C extension as mandatory


I am somewhat new to RISCV, but am fairly familiar with SiFive, CVA6, BOOM(s) and most recently with Black Parrot.  I am trying to understand the rational for the mandatory usage of C extension in order to build Linux. I read the reasoning online, but do not agree it should be mandatory.  Compression is an expensive extension which can slow down the CPU’s execution speed (Fmax), and affects area, particularly in FPGA implementations.   

This then leads me to a question:   It should be possible to compile all of the tree without compression and it should function.  Is there any way to do this?  Not all RISCV implications support C, and it would be a shame to not be able to run Debian on them.

Thank you,

Glenn Baxter

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