How to make hardware development practical

Open Source Hardware: Opportunities and Challenges, June 2016

If we can kick-start design this will generate more opportunities for industry in the future – much like the Linux ecosystem developed.

How to make hardware development practical

We should look at this section in terms of community and industry, each of which has their own important role.

Community: To make hardware prototyping more practical components must be accessible in an easier way. FPGAs should be more“ubiquitously available” through the cloud, mobile platforms or general purpose processors. In an academic setting they should be seen as research tools with a simplified set up and design process –users can easily base their designs to existing reference designs.

Industry: The electronic design automation (EDA) industry should make free versions of their designs available for non-commercial projects, to reduce costs for individuals and academia. This echoes the ‘freemium’ software model or preferential developer access to encourage innovation and experimentation, which will benefit industry eventually.