Whether for budgetary, philosophical, or other reasons, an increasing number of embedded systems are being designed using open source elements. For the most part, these elements are software based, although there are some open source board designs in use as well. Now, the microcontroller that empowers a PCB design is available as an open source design.
A little over a month ago, startup SiFive announced a milestone product in the development of the RISC-V (pronounced risk-five) open source microprocessor instruction set architecture (ISA). Originally developed for research and education, the architecture began moving toward industry implementation with the creation of the RISC-V Foundation in 2015. SiFive advanced that movement by developing a microcontroller design implementing the RISC-V ISA. The company has now proven that design in silicon and donated the RTL code for the design to the open source community.
The automotive industry has always been capital-intensive and therefore, it has often been difficult for startups to carve themselves a space in it. But the electric vehicle revolution is disrupting the industry enough that it is opening up opportunities for startups to accelerate the pace of innovation.
OSVehicle, a company based in Italia, is trying to help them to just that with their new platform.
They released the second generation of the TABBY EVO, an open-source hardware platform to develop electric vehicles and electric vehicle parts. The platform enables companies or individuals wishing to develop parts for electric vehicles, or even full EVs, to leapfrog some of the development and test the parts in an open platform.
The Renault POM represents the first foray by a big automaker into truly open-sourcing its vehicle platform.