If you’re interested in free and open source silicon, RISC-V, FPGA design, or hardware design in general, this is the conference of your dreams.
Revolution Hall, Portland.
This tiny conference — fewer than 80 people— attracted a niche audience from all over the world that fit into a single room in Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. The sun was streaming through the windows from the beautiful spring day outside, but those of us inside were intently focused on the speaker in front of us and their slide deck.
Each speaker was given only 20 minutes to present their ideas. With talk titles like The fusion of high-level synthesis with event-oriented hardware description, I was worried that the conference would be over my head, and it definitely was. Rather than catering to the lowest common denominator, Latch-Up’s speakers used their 20 minutes of talk time to drop some pioneering knowledge.
Just a small sample of highlights in the line-up of speakers: the team of Berkeley grad students creating BOOM (Berkeley Out of Order Machine), pHD candidate Jonathan Balkind who hails from Princeton and is part of the team working on OpenPiton, and ASIC architect Joshua Wise talking about the lessons he learned from open-sourcing NVDLA when he worked at NVIDIA.
The conference was put on by the Free and Open Source Silicon (FOSSi) Foundation, a non-profit foundation with the mission to promote and assist free and open digital hardware designs and their related ecosystems. Olof Kindgren and Julius Baxter, the founders of the FOSSI Foundation, travelled from their respective homes in Sweden and Australia to bring this conference to America for the first time. They have been running OrConf, the European version of Latch-Up, for the past nine years, and decided it was finally time to give those of us in the US a chance to participate.
All of the talks were recorded and will be posted on FOSSi’s YouTube channel.
Hopefully this becomes an annual event. Follow Latch-up on twitter to stay up to date!