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Designing a modern System on a Chip is based on the joint design of hardware and software (co-design). However, understanding the tight relationship between hardware and software is not straightforward. Moreover to validate new concepts in SoC design from the idea to the hardware implementation is time-consuming and often slowed by legacy issues (intellectual property of hardware blocks and expensive commercial tools). To overcome these issues we propose to use the open-source Rocket Chip environment for educational purposes, combined with the open-source LowRisc architecture to implement a custom SoC design on an FPGA board. The demonstration will present how students and engineers can take benefit from the environment to deepen their knowledge in HW and SW co-design. Using the LowRisC architecture, an image classification application based on the use of CNNs will serve as a demonstrator of the whole open-source hardware and software flow and will be mapped on a Nexys A7 FPGA board.

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