Stronger Together – Collaborating with OnChip to Expand the Open-Source Hardware Ecosystem

Here at SiFive, we believe that open-source and mass customization are going to change the semiconductor industry. While working with open-source software is well understood by (most) companies and individuals, open-source hardware is still a new concept.

In creating the Freedom E310, and open sourcing the RTL for that chip, we were hoping to encourage others to develop open-source components for the Freedom Platforms as well. We see a future where there is a robust, vibrant ecosystem of open-source components for people to use and plug in to their chip design.

Last November, we were excited to see OnChip announce the Open-V, an open-source microcontroller based on the RISC-V architecture and packed with analog peripherals. The announcement came right before we launched the Freedom E310, and at first glance it seemed like the Open-V and the Freedom E310 compete against each other in the marketplace.

The following week, however, at the 5th RISC-V workshop, we met with Elkim and his OnChip team in Mountain View and it was clear we had plenty in common and shared many of the same end goals.

So, today I am happy to announce that SiFive and OnChip have announced a collaboration that allows each of us to focus on what we do best—and help create the open-source hardware ecosystem everybody wants.

You can read more details about the Open-V announcement here, but the high-level summary is:

  • Open-V will use the SiFive E31 Coreplex
  • Open-V Peripherals will be compatible with the Freedom Everywhere Platform and available for SiFive customers
  • Open-V will put its peripherals into the Free Chips Project, a new initiative (which you will hear more about soon) that will be a repository of open-source silicon components