While open-source software has become well known, open-source options for chip designers are gaining in prominence. Metaflow Technologies Inc. has announced that it will base its licensable system-on-chip platform on the open-source 32-bit Leon, a Sparc-like processor. Leon-1 CPU core VHDL source code is freely available.
The marketing director of Metaflow, a subsidiary of STMicroelectronics Inc., says, “The Linux phenomenon has proven that open source is an effective way for producing world-class IP, and has created legitimate business models for commercial companies adding value around this IP. The same is now happening with hardware IP.”