OpenROAD and The OpenROAD Initiative: Foundations for Open Innovation

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  • Speaker: Andrew B. Kahng
  • Email:


OpenROAD ( has been a fully self-sustaining open-source EDA project since the end of 2023. The OpenROAD Initiative ( is a non-profit organization whose goal is to support open-source EDA tools and innovation for the semiconductor industry. Together, these efforts seek to contribute foundational elements of an open innovation ecosystem in hardware design and EDA. This talk will cover three main topics. First, what technologies, collaborations and mindsets will be the keys to a healthy, open innovation ecosystem? Can we realize the intrinsic benefits of “Free and Open Source”, such as efficiency, diversity and democratization? Second, what are critical roadmap elements to deliver? These span improved functionality, high-quality training material for new designers and EDA engineers, and stable governance and sustaining models alongside global collaborations. Such elements are important to all of us, not just any one open-source project. Finally, the talk will close with thoughts on how a future of open innovation can lead to truly transformative, disruptive innovations that benefit hardware design, EDA and the broader semiconductor ecosystem.


Andrew B. Kahng photo

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, and is a fellow of ACM and IEEE. He was the 2019 Ho-Am Prize laureate in Engineering. He has served as general chair of IEEE CEDA-sponsored conferences such as DAC, ISPD, SLIP and MLCAD, and from 2000-2016 served as international chair/co-chair of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) Design and System Drivers working groups. He was the principal investigator of the U.S. DARPA “OpenROAD” project ( from June 2018 to December 2023, and until August 2023 served as principal investigator and director of “TILOS” (, a U.S. NSF AI Research Institute.