LONDON -- Damjan Lampret, a former student from the former Yugoslavia where he was one of the driving forces behind an open source hardware intellectual property initiative, is to give the first public demonstration of a system-on-chip processor based on royalty-free IP blocks, on Monday (December 15, 2003) in Mountain View, California.
Versions of the OpenRISC 32-bit RISC core, which is available for download from the OpenCores web site, have been demonstrated before, but piece-meal and implemented in field programmable gate arrays.
Subsequent to overseeing the design of the OpenRISC as a student Lampret was hired by Flextronics Semiconductor (San Jose, Calif.) and one year ago wrote about plans for an embedded Linux platform that would owe no royalties on the hardware (see December 13 story).
On Monday, December 15, at 7pm, Lampret is set to demonstrate an all-open source System-On-Chip (SoC) at the Freedom Technology Center.
The new OpenCores System-On-Chip, developed and manufactured by Flextronics Semiconductor, runs Linux, uClinux, or eCos. The SoC is exclusively built with freely licensed OpenCores IP cores.
The chip includes the OpenRISC OR1200 32-bit processor, a memory controller for SDRAM/FLASH/SRAM, a 10/100-Mbit/s Ethernet MAC, 32-bit, 33/66MHz PCI support, and a 16550 UART. The OpenRISC OR1200 has a memory management unit, so it can run either conventional Linux, which requires an MMU, or uClinux, which is intended for processors without an MMU.
"Are open source soft cores starting to have impact on the semiconductor industry? Yes, slowly but irreversibly. What started in 1983 with the GNU project is now starting in open source hardware with OpenCores, 20 years later," said Lampret in a statement.
The demonstration will cover the system-on-chip, how it was designed and the manufacturing technology used. Special attention will be paid to the processor, the OpenRISC.