This project is a good example of Upstarta principle#4: “Pragmatic on Intellectual Property (IP): speed-to-market over protection. Share information. No software patents.”
OpenCores.org host the source code for different digital hardware projects (IP-cores, System-on-Chip, boards, etc) and support the users with different tools, platforms, forums and other useful information.
Considering the complexity of designing and validating (debugging) these systems, the process becomes prohibitively expensive when done in-house, while fundamentally there’s nothing unique in there that must be hidden/protected to have a viable business model. So with benefits of cost as well as development speed, the openness becomes a true enabler: it allows startups and small businesses to consider this technology, which would otherwise be simply inconceivable.