Many New Ideas from ORCONF

Every autumn the community around the OpenRISC processor meets somewhere to discuss the current status of the project, to exchange ideas with other free/open hardware projects, and to discuss future directions. This year the OpenRISC Conference “ORCONF” was held at TUM in Munich and attracted around 40 people from all over Europe and the US.

The OpenRISC processor implementation “mor1kx” powers the the OpTiMSoC compute tiles, and we have been active in its development for some time now. So it was an easy call to make when the question of where to host the next conference came up: visit us in Munich!

What followed was a great weekend with many interesting talks. Olof started off with a status update on OpenRISC in general, followed by talks presenting the changes to the individual components of the OpenRISC project, such as toolchain and various porting efforts, e.g. of the Linux Kernel. How OpenRISC is used in the wild was shown by reports from research groups all over Europe, which are using the OpenRISC architecture as base of their SoC designs.

Implementing OpenRISC in JavaScript? Why not, thought Sebastian Macke a couple years ago, and out of this idea the jor1k emulator was born. In addition to some demos he showed us what’s necessary to implement a fast (80 MIPS on an iPad!) emulator in JavaScript.

The round of talks was completed by presentations of exciting upcoming topics such as the RISC-V ISA with its implementation, Rocket, the lowRISC project with the goal of building silicon in an open way, and various other topics related to free/open hardware design.

Thanks to everybody who joined us for the conference, and thanks for making OpenRISC a success!

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by Philipp Wagner
on 12 October 2014

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