Mitacs and OpenHW Group partner on $22.5M first-of-its-kind open-source research program

Initial research project awarded to CMC Microsystems, ETH Zürich, and Polytechnique Montréal will be presented on March 18 via OpenHW TV webinar. Register at

Ottawa, ON — Mitacs and OpenHW Group are pleased to announce OpenHW Accelerate, a $22.5M multi-year, co-funded research program, the world’s first open-source hardware research program of its kind. OpenHW Accelerate will drive research in the next generation of class-leading open-source processors, architectures, and support software for embedded AI and machine learning applications, among other future energy-intensive computing requirements.

OpenHW Group, a global not-for-profit organization set up to facilitate collaboration in the design and development of open-source cores, related IP, and software tools, collaborates with Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that powers research and development by connecting industry with the best post-secondary institutions in Canada and internationally to solve business challenges. The partnership enables the creation of the innovative OpenHW Accelerate program.

The first OpenHW Accelerate project, CORE-V VEC, is a research effort to explore architectural optimizations for RISC-V vector processor implementations used in high-throughput multidimensional sensor data processing and machine learning acceleration at the edge.

With industry sponsorship from CMC Microsystems, Canada’s leading specialists in microsystems and nanotechnologies, CORE-V VEC is a three-year, joint-research collaboration between Polytechnique Montréal and ETH Zürich, institutions at the forefront of international semiconductor and software engineering research.

Mitacs and the OpenHW Group plan to announce several new OpenHW Accelerate projects pairing industrial sponsors with academic institutions in the coming months.


The Honourable François‑Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Open science accelerates research, drives innovation and grows the economy to the benefit of all Canadians. Our Government is proud to support the OpenHW Accelerate program as they help researchers and industries engage in greater collaboration to find innovative solutions to today’s challenges.”

Dr. John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“The OpenHW Accelerate program, supported by the Government of Canada, represents a major step forward in open-source hardware research. This collaboration marks the onset of first-of-its kind, openly available hardware research to those around the globe; this accessibility reduces barriers for start-ups and small businesses to advance.”

John Rick O’Connor, Founder and CEO, OpenHW Group

“OpenHW Group is transforming how the industry adopts open-source hardware and is bringing relevant research projects to leading industry and academic institutions worldwide. With strong support from Mitacs, the OpenHW Accelerate co-funded research project is available to all members and technology partners across the OpenHW ecosystem worldwide.”

Gordon Harling, President and CEO, CMC Microsystems

“The potential of open-source hardware is boundless. As the industrial sponsor for the CORE-V VEC project, this is a perfect fit for CMC to connect research innovation with industrial applications like AI and machine learning where Canada is recognized as a global leader, and is well-positioned for future growth.”

About the OpenHW Group

OpenHW Group is a not-for-profit, global organization driven by its members and individual contributors where hardware and software designers collaborate in the development of open-source cores, related IP, tools and software such as the CORE-V family of cores. OpenHW provides an infrastructure for hosting high-quality open-source HW developments in line with industry best practices. CORE-V is a series of RISC-V-based open-source cores with associated processor subsystem IP, tools and software for electronic system designers. The CORE-V family provides quality core IP in line with industry best practices. The IP is available in both silicon and FPGA optimized implementations. These cores can be used to facilitate rapid design innovation and ensure effective manufacturability of high-volume production SoCs.

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About Mitacs

Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions. Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon. For more information, visit:

About CMC Microsystems and Canada’s National Design Network

CMC Microsystems works with researchers and industry across Canada’s National Design Network, providing access to world-class tools, technologies, expertise, and industrial capabilities for designing, prototyping, and manufacturing innovations in microsystems and nanotechnologies. CMC reduces barriers to technology adoption by creating and sharing platform technologies. For more information, visit:

For research and business enquiries:

Mel Chaar, Mitacs Business Development Director
(613) 558-3628