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Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)
Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)
Chitlesh Goorah holds a Master degree in Micro-Nano Electronics engineering. He then specialized in digital design at ON Semiconductor in Belgium. He explores different opensource methodologies which can benefit the EDA industry. Ultimately, he founded Fedora Electronic Lab, an opensource design … More »

Milkymist: pushing further the limits of electronics openness

November 7th, 2010 by Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)

Everyone has heard of open source software, but can the same principles be applied to hardware?

Some people argue that hardware is so expensive to manufacture and modify that it prevents hobbyists from contributing, and thus stifles the development of an open source hardware community.

This isn’t entirely true. In fact, the huge popularity of community-developed microcontroller platforms (Arduino and its huge collection of add-on modules being the most famous examples) tends to show the opposite. Other examples include the USRP software-defined radio platform, Texas Instrument’s Beagleboard single board computer, or the Openmoko mobile phone (though the latter has enjoyed limited success).

But while those projects feature open and public hardware specifications, “traditional” schematics, printed circuit boards and mechanical designs, the whole semiconductor design and manufacturing process remains a poorly covered area. There are a few pioneers like GRLIB (LEON3), OpenSPARC and OpenRISC. But all suffer from excessive complexity, slowness and large hardware resource usage – if not outright poor or unfinished design. These factors make them difficult to access and stifle their wide adoption, with a need for oversized FPGAs, modern semiconductor processes and advanced logic synthesis tools – all being very expensive.

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Using Fedora’s Windows cross compilers to extend EDA software distribution

June 14th, 2009 by Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)

Last week announced the availability of Fedora 11. This new release entails Windows cross-compilers
introduced by Fedora’s MinGW Special Interest Group.

The aim is to eliminate duplication of work for application developers by providing a range of libraries and development tools which have already been ported to the cross-compiler environment. This means that developers will not need to recompile the application stack themselves, but can concentrate just on the changes needed to their own application.

Though this feature will interest a wide range of software developers, I believe EDA vendors will also be very interested. I will demonstrate a quick example of how to use these Windows cross-compilers.

In this demo, I will use gerbv, a gerber viewer and the example “Temperature Collector” developed by Levente Kovacs.

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FEL: Improving collaborative hardware development experience

June 11th, 2009 by Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)

One of the many faces of digital hardware design entails tracking many files to be fed to multiple EDA tools. The eventual reports or netlists are carefully analysed and logged as part of the sign-off methodology. Each company tracks these project dependent files under a certain directory structure and under a certain revision controlled system of their choice.

The development cycle Fedora Electronic Lab 12 has started. One key feature for the next Fedora 12 release will be improving “collaborative hardware development experience” on Fedora. As a test-case scenario, let’s imagine 4 persons (from 4 different continents) have encountered each other using a particular social networking medium and want to engage into the development of a FPGA project.

While Fedora Electronic Lab already includes the respective simulators for digital design (VHDL/Verilog), waveforms viewers, schematic editors, PCB layout editor and Fedora’s different webserver and security solutions, these 4 persons (test-case scenario) should not have any issue with the latest Fedora 11 release.

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Hello EDACafe!

June 1st, 2009 by Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)

It is with great pleasure that today I’ve a featured blog on EDACafe. My name is Chitlesh Goorah. I will be exposing different opensource solutions which will interest both EDA engineers and ASIC designers.

Some of you may know me from my work behind Fedora Electronic Lab. For about three years now, we are proposing an opensource ASIC design and simulation platform, which is fairly well accepted by many universities around the world. We are working closely with many upstream projects such as gEDA, veripool, open circuit design, … in order to ensure interoperability between our solutions.

At the same time, Fedora developers are introducing Windows cross-compilers for the next version. Thereby, EDA vendors can also use Fedora or entreprise-class distribution such as RHEL or CentOS as a development ground for their products.

Later, I will introduce other features such as virtualisation, mass deployment, various design handoff checking facilities, … etc each accompanying with at least an example. Many designers and CAD engineers are already using opensource tools such as Vi, Emacs, svn, … I am looking forward to read your comments on my next posts.

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