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OpenHW Group and Mitacs announce OpenHW Accelerate – a $22.5M, multi-year co-funded research program to stimulate architecture research for next generation of open-source processors

OpenHW Accelerate’s first research project, CORE-V VEC, awarded to CMC Microsystems, ETH Zürich and Polytechnique Montréal

Ottawa, Canada, March 9, 2021: Today, OpenHW Group and Mitacs announced OpenHW Accelerate, a $22.5M multi-year co-funded research program, the world’s first open-source hardware research program of its kind. OpenHW Accelerate will drive research in next generation of class-leading open-source processors, architectures and support software for embedded AI and machine learning (ML) applications, among other future energy-intensive computing requirements.

OpenHW Group, the global not-for-profit organization set up to facilitate collaboration in the design and development of open-source cores, related IP and software tools, teamed up with Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization supporting research within Canadian and International academic institutions to create the innovative OpenHW Accelerate program.

Rick O’Connor, Founder and CEO at OpenHW Group, said: “OpenHW Group is transforming how the industry adopts open-source hardware and is bringing relevant research projects to leading industry and academic institutions worldwide. With strong support from Mitacs, the OpenHW Accelerate co-funded research project is available to all members and technology partners across the OpenHW ecosystem worldwide.”

The first OpenHW Accelerate project, CORE-V VEC, is a research effort to explore architectural optimizations for RISC-V vector processor implementations used in high-throughput multidimensional sensor data processing and ML acceleration at the Edge.

According to Dr. John Hepburn, Mitacs CEO and Scientific Director: “The OpenHW Accelerate program, supported by the Government of Canada represents a major step forward in open-source hardware research. This collaboration marks the onset of first-of-its kind, openly-available hardware research to those around the globe; this accessibility reduces barriers for start-ups and small businesses to advance.”

The OpenHW Group and Mitacs plan to announce several new OpenHW Accelerate projects pairing industrial sponsors with academic institutions in the coming months.

With industry sponsorship from CMC Microsystems, Canada’s leading specialists in microsystems and nanotechnologies, CORE-V VEC is a three-year, joint-research collaboration between Polytechnique Montréal and ETH Zürich, institutions at the forefront of international semiconductor and software engineering research.

Gordon Harling, President and CEO of CMC Microsystems, added: “The potential of open-source hardware is boundless. As the industrial sponsor for the CORE-V VEC project, this is a perfect fit for CMC to connect research innovation with industrial applications like AI and machine learning where Canada is recognized as a global leader, and is well-positioned for future growth.”

More details about the OpenHW Accelerate program and CORE-V VEC will be presented via an OpenHW TV webinar on March 18 featuring officials from all of the project’s collaborating organizations. Register via

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