Hebden Bridge was a fantastic setting; a beautiful northern English town nestled in a valley, complete with gushing river, canals with narrowboats, verdant hillsides and northern stone buildings. The Hebden Bridge town hall was a great venue, recently renovated, we were hosted in the Waterfront Hall which provided the sound of the river flowing past all day. Oh, and an amazing courtyard in which a few beers were enjoyed between talks.
From all accounts, the preceding week’s events at Wuthering Bytes had been a great success, with several from Chip Hack staying on to attend ORConf and hopefully had a better understanding of what was going on thanks to their nascent Verilog coding skills.
The 3-day ORConf schedule provided a non-stop tour de force of the best minds and projects among the open source digital design community. Open source EDA had another strong showing with many presentations on automation be it IP-XACT, verification frameworks, flows and continuous integration.
It was great to receive updates on the various RISC-V projects in motion around the continent such as lowRISC and PULP and Clifford Wolf’s latest efforts in his formal verification tool being deployed on the RISC-V ISA.
One highlight for me was meeting the man behind Open Circuit Design, Tim Edwards, and hearing about his latest venture with efabless, in particular their IP design and fabrication model and getting an understanding of just how truly accessible open source semiconductor design is today. We look forward to hearing from efabless again in the coming years.
As always it was a pleasure to see so many new faces and hear about projects we didn’t really know about, and also how much interest from industry there is in this area. A licensing update from Andrew Katz was also encouraging, showing the efforts of CERN and the FOSSi Foundation in the area of HDL licensing are beginning to take shape. Another great moment was Richard Herveille talking about the early days of OpenCores.org and his involvement with the project, fascinating stuff to many of us who were only involved later.
The Saturday evening dinner event, which was sponsored by RS Components, was thoroughly enjoyed by all accounts, as were Hebden Bridge’s many fine pubs, treating us all to fine pints of real English ale throughout the weekend.
As we look back on this year’s conference, we’re already looking forward to 2018’s which we’re pleased to say planning is already underway for. We’ll hopefully announce the date well in advance to permit early travel bookings.
I’m very pleased to mention that ORConf has received a couple of mentions on the web so far, so if you’re interested in more please do check out the following articles on the ZipCPU blog and Kunal Ghosh’s Linkedin.
Don’t forget to check the ORConf site for links to videos when they’re available, and slide decks from the presentations.
We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at ORConf 2018!
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