The cause of free and open source silicon gained a new ally this week with the launch of the Open Source FPGA Foundation, which aims to promote open source tools and methodology in field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Founded by members from industry and academia, including board members from the Universities of Utah and Toronto, Quicklogic, Zero ASIC, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), GSG Group, and led by chief executive Dr. Shrikant Lohokare, the Open Source FPGA (OSFPGA) Foundation states its aim as “to set FPGA companies free from engineering-labour intensive process in producing FPGA chips, give full freedom for software developers when customise FPGA software stacks and provide an open collaboration for FPGA end-users to implement high-quality designs.”

“The Open Source FPGA Foundation will serve to enhance the spectrum of innovation for FPGAs globally,” claims Dr. Naveed Sherwani, Foundation co-chair. “There is a very strong demand for more flexible designs, open source tools and methodology will allow for much greater innovation in the FPGA design space. We thank all our partners for their strong support of our launch and look forward to working with our members to drive the true democratization of FPGA technology.”

The non-profit Foundation has stated that it will provide an “open, user-focused, inclusive, and collaborative environment” to include the board of directors, technical steering committees, and community contributors. Community membership is free for students, universities, and pre-revenue/funding startups, while corporate memberships start at $5,000 per annum.

More information on the OSFPGA Foundation can be found on the official website, while its initial release takes the form of a list of related projects published to the Foundation’s newly-formed GitHub repository.