A new not-for-profit global organisation aims to boost the adoption of open-source processors by providing a platform for collaboration, creating a focal point for ecosystem development, and offering open-source IP for processor cores. Headed by Founder and CEO, Rick O’Connor, the OpenHW Group has already recruited 13 sponsor organisations and expects this to grow to 25 by the end of 2019.
OpenHW Group is a member of the RISC-V Foundation of which O’Connor was Executive Director until May this year, and has entered into a strategic partnership with the Eclipse Foundation, a global community for open-source software collaboration and innovation.
Inaugural OpenHW sponsors include Alibaba, Bluespec, CMC Microsystems, Embecosm, ETH Zurich (University), GreenWaves, Imperas, Metrics, Mythic AI, NXP, Onespin, Silicon Labs and Thales.
The OpenHW Group will serve developers of processor cores and hardware and software engineers who design SoCs. The advent of open ISAs such as RISC-V has encouraged organisations throughout the world to take a fresh look at open-source processor development. For these organisations, the OpenHW Group aims to drive greater awareness, understanding and availability of open-source processor implementations.
O’Connor explained, “If you design or are looking for open-source processor IP, OpenHW Group is an organisation for collaborating with like-minded engineers. If you’re an SoC designer, you don’t have to design from scratch; we will help you accelerate your design process by supplying you with a growing range of proven processor IP options, all available within an expanding, high-quality ecosystem.
“For example, for RISC-V-based processors, we’re introducing the CORE-V family of cores, which supports system-on-chip (SoC) hardware and software designers with a quality and manufacturability assurance when adopting RISC-V processor core IP.”
Rob Oshana, Chairman of the Board, OpenHW Group and VP Software Engineering, NXP, added: “The electronics industry is embracing open-source processor technologies at an unprecedented rate. At NXP we believe there’s a need to create a deep ecosystem to support adoption of the RISC-V ISA. This includes various components - middleware, stacks and tools - all aligned to move the architecture forward. I’m pleased to serve as Chairman of the OpenHW Group board to help realise this goal.”