the open-source SoC platform

News: The first GitHub Release of ESP is now available (Release 2021.1.0). Check out the release notes for the complete list of ESP features.

The ESP Vision

ESP is an open-source research platform for heterogeneous system-on-chip design that combines a scalable tile-based architecture and a flexible system-level design methodology.

ESP provides three accelerator flows: RTL, high-level synthesis (HLS), machine learning frameworks. All three design flows converge to the ESP automated SoC integration flow that generates the necessary hardware and software interfaces to rapidly enable full-system prototyping on FPGA.


  • Architecture
    • Tile-based: processor, accelerator, memory, scratchpad and I/O tiles
    • NoC-based
    • Available processors
  • Accelerator design and integration flows
    • ESP accelerator design flows
      • SystemC with Cadence Stratus HLS
      • C/C++ with Mentor Catapult HLS
      • C/C++ with Xilinx Vivado HLS
      • Machine learning frameworks (e.g. Keras/Pytorch/ONNX) with hls4ml
      • Chisel
    • Third-party accelerator integration flow
      • Example: NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA)
  • SoC design flow
    • Mix & match SoC floorplanning GUI
    • Automatic SoC generation
    • Full-system RTL simulation
    • Rapid FPGA prototyping
  • Software support
    • Bare-metal
    • Linux SMP
  • FPGA development boards

For more information check out the documentation section!

See here some of the supported projects, tools and languages:


Overview paper:

Agile SoC Development with Open ESP
Paolo Mantovani, Davide Giri, Giuseppe Di Guglielmo, Luca Piccolboni, Joseph Zuckerman, Emilio G. Cota, Michele Petracca, Christian Pilato, Luca P. Carloni
(Invited) IEEE/ACM International Conference On Computer Aided Design (ICCAD), 2020


The Publications page contains the complete list of publications related to ESP.

What’s new

Coming soon

  • Multi-processor support for the RISC-V Ariane cores

  • Accelerator design flow in SystemC with Catapult HLS

  • Regression testing

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Release 2021.1.0
Release 2021.1.0

The GitHub Release 2021.1.0 of ESP is now available.

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