• Democratizing Hardware Design

    The OpenROAD project attacks the barriers of Cost, Expertise and Uncertainty (i.e., Risk) that block the feasibility of hardware design in advanced technologies.

  • DARPA is reimagining U.S. Electronics

    OpenROAD is centered on digital SOC layout generation ("RTL-to-GDSII"), and is part of the broader DARPA IDEA program and Electronics Resurgence Initiative which seek to transform the design of hardware systems.

  • 24 Hours, No Humans in the Loop

    OpenROAD aims to develop tools that adapt, self-tune, and never get stuck unexpectedly.


Thanks to Dr. Jinwook Jung of IBM for highlighting the OpenROAD team's contributions to IEEE CEDA DATC's Calibrations and Metrics4ML repositories.

Dr. Jung's overview at ISPD-2021 on Monday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3-uBLqxvI8&list=PL6-vor2YamEAaTfW8icKa4OrQIUMHUtjT&index=20

Repos: https://github.com/ieee-ceda-datc/datc-rdf-calibrations and https://github.com/ieee-ceda-datc/datc-rdf-Metrics4ML

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The Problem

Our Goal

  • 24-hour, No-Human-In-The-Loop layout design for SOC, Package and PCB with no Power-Performance-Area (PPA) loss
  • Tapeout-capable tools in source code form, with permissive licensing → seed future “Linux of EDA”

Our Approach

  • No Humans: tools must adapt and self-tune, must never get stuck unexpectedly
  • 24 hours: extreme partitioning of problems
    • parallel search on cloud
    • machine learning for predictability
  • Mantra: Correctness and safety by construction
  • Mantra: Embrace freedom from choice
  • Mantra: Often, only one thread needs to succeed


  • Create new “Base Technologies” that enable 24-hour, autonomous design
    • Extreme partitioning (bite-sized problems)
    • Parallel search and optimization
    • Machine learning: models of tools, designs
  • New paradigm for design tools and methods: autonomy first
  • Bring down barriers to democratize HW design
  • Embedded vision chips (28nm/16nm) from Michigan Internal Design Advisors team
    • Layout @Michigan: 10+ weeks, significant resource
  • OpenROAD and IDEA goal: 1 day, no humans (!)