OpenCores is a loose community of people who are interested in developing digital open source hardware through electronic design automation, with a similar ethos to the free software movement. OpenCores hope to eliminate redundant design work and slash development costs. A number of companies have been reported as adopting OpenCores IP in chips  , or as adjuncts to EDA tools  . OpenCores is also cited from time to time in the electronics press as an example of open source in the electronics hardware community, for example , while EE Times reported in late 2008 that OpenCores had passed the 20,000 subscriber mark .
Damjan Lampret, one of the founders of OpenCores states on his website that it began in 1999 . The first public record of the new website and its objectives was on CNET News in 2001 . Through the following years it was supported by advertising and sponsorship, including Flextronics .
In the absence of a widely accepted open source hardware license, the components produced by the OpenCores initiative use several different software licenses. The most common is the GNU LGPL, which states that any modifications to a component must be shared with the community, while you can still use it together with proprietary components. The less restrictive modified BSD license (with advertising clause removed) is also used in some hardware projects, while the GNU GPL is often used for software components, such as models and firmware.
The library will consist of design elements from central processing units, memory controllers, peripherals, motherboards, and other components. Emerging semiconductor manufacturers could use the information and license designs for free.
Among the components created by OpenCores contributors are: