Creating a fully open-source SoC design

lowRISC is a not-for-profit project to produce a completely open source SoC (System on Chip), with plans for volume silicon manufacture and low-cost development boards. We use the open RISC-V instruction set architecture, and are based at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. lowRISC has its roots in the Raspberry Pi project, which two of the co-founders were heavily involved in.

The ultimate goals of lowRISC are:

  • To create a fully open SoC and low-cost development board and to support the open-source hardware community. This will involve volume silicon manufacture.
  • To explore and promote novel hardware security features
  • To make it simple for existing companies and especially semiconductor startups to create derivative designs, e.g. by sharing scripts, tools, source and our experience
  • To create a benchmark design to aid academic research

We are taking part in GSoC as an umbrella project, in collaboration with a number of other projects, either directly producing open source hardware or useful for developing open source hardware. You don't have to be a hardware designer to contribute, we have a range of projects in the hardware or software realm, in a variety of programming languages.

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  • verilog
  • chisel
  • risc-v
  • linux


  • Other
  • fpga
  • hardware
  • soc
  • security
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lowRISC 2017 Projects

  • Mostafa Saleh
    CMSIS-DSP on PULPino
    I will implement ARM CMSIS library on PULPino using proposed priority, then i will port the implementation to its DSP core and compare results.
  • nchronas
    Implementation of core lock step in the lowRISC SoC for use in cubesats.
    The upgraded role of cubesats, fueled by technological advances in the aerospace industry, that lower launch costs, has opened access to space for a...
  • Yeonju Ro
    ORAM interface for RISC-V systems
    Memory access is one of the most important operation done in modern processors thus it plays an important role in implementation of trusted execution...
  • Benjamin Landers
    RISC-V Simulator for education
    This project aims to support the use of RISC-V in education by providing a simulator to step through assembly programs. This is a similar concept to...