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Google has announced funding for silicon manufacturing to participate in open source projects using its process design suite with GlobalFoundries.
as part of Google’s effort to provide open source projects with easier access to silicon design and chip manufacturingthey opened up resources and paid the costs for open-source projects to produce their initial chips on the SkyWater 130nm process. An upgrade to SkyWater’s 90nm process🇧🇷 It was announced back in August Google and GlobalFoundries have created an open source Process Design Kit (PDK). Targeting GloFo’s 180nm “180MCU” technology platform.
At the time of the initial announcement, it was implied that Google would continue to offer a “no-cost silicon realization program” to cover the first batches of chip production for those who complete a successful, open-source chip design. With the SkyWater program, Google paid for six flights that enabled the realization of 350 unique silicon designs, of which about 240 were successfully manufactured.
Google has now officially announced funding for open-source silicon manufacturing using GlobalFoundries 180nm PDK. There will be a number of free shuttle runs using the GF180MCU in the coming months. As with previous trials, silicon designs must be fully open-sourced, reproducible from source designs, delivered within given timelines, and must pass pre-production inspections. Although 180nm is not interesting for advanced computer components, 180nm still has many real-world applications and is used in various fields such as IoT, automotive and other basic electronics.
For CPUs, 180nm manufacturing was used in the days of some Intel Celeron CPUs for Socket 478 (pictured), as well as AMD Athlon Thunderbird and Duron processors, among others. GlobalFoundries’ 180nm manufacturing is still useful for other ASICs — especially for start-up open-source projects with costs paid for by Google.
The first trial service is open for submissions until December 5. Those who want to learn more can look this Google blog post From their Open Source Blog, with this service sponsored that was announced on October 31st but only appeared in their RSS feed this weekend.
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