OpenROAD Initiative

Democratize chip design, the open-source way!

About Us

The OpenROAD Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Feb 2023 with the goal of supporting open source EDA tools and innovation for the semiconductor Industry. These tools foster reproducible research in EDA technology and enable applications for a range of technologies. This is key since algorithmic advances require a full RTL-to-GDS flow in order to verify their effectiveness. Open Source EDA tools are also useful for semiconductor design research allowing full reproducibility and transparency in design methodology and results. 

The US CHIPS Act supports a key provision for Education and Workforce development. In order to develop the US workforce for semiconductor design, it will be necessary to interest and motivate  students beginning in High School through undergraduate and graduate degrees. Open Source EDA tools are ideal for these early learners to avoid the costs and complexities of licenses and complicated use models used to design complex applications at advanced nodes.

Demand for semiconductors is growing rapidly–it is projected to be a $1.2T industry by 2030. The EDA industry is slated to double in its current size to about $22B.  The semiconductor industry faces critical challenges in training the required workforce due to barriers of access to design tools, licensing costs and rapid training for a skilled and productive workforce to build advanced semiconductor products in the U.S.

The OpenROAD Initiative will support Education and Workforce Development Programs for a wide range of learners and users: from high school course development, Summer Internship programs, Professional upskilling, undergraduate, graduate and advanced courses for EDA and hardware design.

The OpenROAD Project, Surelog, Yosys and Klayout are examples of the types of several projects the initiative would like to support.

Mission & Vision

Democratize chip design, the open-source way!

Our vision is to foster open-source chip design, EDA projects and programs that lower costs, democratize access to tools, training and accelerate innovation for the semiconductor industry. Chip design is still largely based on legacy tools and methodologies that are proprietary in nature and have failed to address the challenges of mounting design costs, predictable quality of results and time-to-market needs. Today, most of this effort is done in silos or loosely coupled parallel programs that seek to solve common challenges resulting in wasted resources due to lack of focus and collaboration. We aim to bring together this ecosystem in focusing on the most pressing and relevant problems facing the industry and as identified by the programs of the CHIPS act.Together, we are building the Linux of EDA and Chip design!

The OpenROAD Initiative is a consortium of semiconductor industry and academia partners that supports projects from Government grants, Industry sponsorship and membership subscriptions.


Tom Spyrou

Board Member

Andrew B. Kahng

Board Member


Education and Workforce Development

One of our key goals is to foster education and workforce development for the semiconductor industry.  The U.S remains a hotspot for semiconductor design as seen below.

However, there is a critical skills gap and lack for a feasible program from the resources and pathways today to a predictable outcome to meet this gap.

We support and organize specific training programs, courses, contests, workshops, internships that support a broad range of users, researchers and professionals looking to upskill.

Tom Spyrou is the CEO of Precision Innovations Inc and is the chief architect and technical program manager for the OpenROAD™ system. Tom is a well-known EDA system architect. He was most recently a Senior Principal Engineer in Intel’s Programmable Solutions business unit working on the Quartus FPGA compiler.

Tom has worked for over 30 years as an EDA Technologist and has gained extensive experience in areas including Static Timing Analysis, Logic Synthesis, Power Grid Analysis, Database Technology and Floor-planning.

He has led the development of leading-edge commercial engines and products such as PrimeTime, Voltage Storm, First Encounter, and the Open Access Database.

Tom has been driving EDA algorithms to utilize parallel programming approaches with both multi-process and multi-threaded techniques. He has a BS from Carnegie Mellon University in ECE and an MS from Santa Clara University.

Andrew B. Kahng is Distinguished Professor of CSE and ECE and holder of the endowed chair in high-performance computing at UC San Diego. He was visiting scientist at Cadence (1995-97) and founder/CTO at Blaze DFM (2004-06). 

He is coauthor of 3 books and over 500 journal and conference papers, holds 35 issued U.S. patents, is a fellow of ACM and IEEE, and the 2019 Ho-Am Prize laureate in Engineering.  He has served as general chair of DAC, ISPD and other conferences, and from 2000-2016 as international chair/co-chair of the ITRS Design and System Drivers working groups.

He is currently PI of “OpenROAD™”, a $17M U.S. DARPA project targeting open-source, autonomous (“no human in the loop”) tools for IC implementation.

He also serves as PI and director of TILOS, an NSF AI Research Institute that began operations in November 2021.  Some recent talks can be seen at his lab homepage: