One thing I really like about being an engineer is that you can attend workshops around the world. This means that you get to see new places that are usually not on your family's vacation short list. I fell in love with Great Britain in 2015 while attending the International Conference on Field-programmable Logic and Applications (FPL 2015) in London and EuroForth 2015 in Bath, having a great time at both events. Therefore, I was very happy to read that this year's ORConf 2017 — an open source digital design and embedded systems conference — will be held in Hebden Bridge, UK.
But wait a minute; Hebden Bridge? Where the hack (pun intended) is that? Well, according to the Wikipedia, Hebden Bridge is a market town that forms part of Hebden Royd in West Yorkshire, England. In April 2005, Hebden Bridge was named the fourth quirkiest place in the world by High Life (the British Airways flight magazine). In a national survey by the New Economics Foundation in 2010, Hebden Bridge was ranked sixth on a diversity scale. The “Fox and Goose,” West Yorkshires first Co-Operative pub, is owned by 262 residents of Hebden Bridge. Combined with the lovely pictures of the town and the area, it looks to be the perfect place to hang out with one's peers in an early autumn week (or weekend) in September.
The reason I mention this is that ORConf 2017 will be held September 8-10, 2017, as a featured event of the Wuthering Bytes Festival, a festival of technology in the heart of the Pennines, which kicks off on September 1. The ORConf itself is an open source digital design and embedded systems conference, covering areas of electronics from the transistor-level up to Linux user space and beyond. This looks like days full of mind-blowing inspirations from many interesting talks and presentations. And we mustn't forget all the follow-up discussions that are sure to take place in the “Fox and Goose” pub (only to support the brave 262 local residents, of course).
So what can we expect from ORConf 2017. First, this is a conference that is organized and held by enthusiasts, who obviously love what they are doing. The open-minded organizers and participants are eager to contribute to the community and to have a great time. From hobbyist to experts in their own fields, everyone is open for sharing their thoughts and helping others, which means this is the perfect occasion for networking.
We can expect updates along with future plans and discussions on the Fossi Foundation website; this is the group of open source enthusiast behind ORConf 2017. Also of interest is the fact that the RISC-V guys will be sending a representative who will be happy to answer any-and-all RISC-V-related questions.
A string of interesting talks on RISC-V and OpenRISC will also be presented, along with many other of sessions covering different aspects in the open source silicon world. I expect a wide variety of interesting and inspiring presentations. I'm afraid that three days will not be enough for everything that's planned.
Would you like to present your project/work on something related to free and open source silicon related hardware or software? FPGAs, ASICs, EDA, Linux… you name it. If so, don't hesitate to contact the ORConf guys, who will do their very best to welcome you. And I personally would love to meet up and have a beer with you at… well, you know where.
Last, but certainly not least, if you are anywhere near the Technical University of Munich on the March 23, you should visit the Open Source Silicon with RISC-V event. This is being organized by Stefan Wallentowitz, who is one of the brave guys behind the Fossi Foundation. Krste Asamovic and Alex Bradbury will also be there. I can't wait for the latest update on their great work.