W07 Enabling rapid and sustainable RISC-V based research using open source HW and SW
As our world becomes more interconnected and reliant on digital systems, the need for transparency, accessibility, and collaborative innovation in hardware and software design has become paramount. Closed and proprietary solutions often limit user sovereignty and control, hinder interoperability, and stifle innovation by locking users into a specific ecosystem. In contrast, open-source initiatives are leading towards rapid prototyping of novel ideas and systems and unlocking from any specific vendor by empowering academic and industrial users to control, modify, and build upon existing technology. This workshop will bring both academic and industry members into a discussion about open-source hardware (HW) and software (SW) interests and showcase the potential of open-source technology with the eXtendable Heterogeneous Energy-Efficient Platform, X-HEEP. X-HEEP is an EU and RISC-V-based enabler platform for rapid and sustainable VLSI/ASIC system design, automation, and testing. Following the success stories of open-source projects in the SW ecosystem, with Linux kernel as the best example, X-HEEP aims to foster innovative, easy-to-integrate, easy-to-use ASIC-oriented technology. Similarly, other open-source HW initiatives, such as OpenHW Group, OpenRoad, and SkyWater are already revolutionising the semiconductor industry by democratising chip design via open-source IPs, EDA tools, and PDKs. To this end, X-HEEP enables HW research and freely delivers industrial-grade, silicon-proven open-source CPU IPs from OpenHW. Together with our academic and industrial partners, we will showcase the usage of X-HEEP for 1) SW engineers to deploy end-to-end applications, 2) HW engineers to integrate and evaluate their own IPs, and 3) system-level designers to architect a full system using its configurability and extendibility capabilities.
Open-source HW and SW are becoming essential in the rapidly evolving technological landscape. This workshop fosters a shared knowledge and creativity culture, enabling a broader range of applications, from affordable healthcare devices to sustainable energy solutions. It stands as a critical pillar for a more inclusive, innovative, and sustainable technological future. Thus, open-source hardware and software is a paramount topic for the DATE conference, as it encourages ethical and sustainable practices by promoting repairability and reducing electronic waste. This topic is completely integrated and part of DATE’s technical scope considering the four different conference tracks. Moreover, the presentation and fostering of openly, easy-to-integrate, and easy-to-use ASIC-oriented technology is innovative, and we can expect submissions in this regard in the future.