Big news today from Tim Ansell of Google along with eFabless and Skywater Foundry. FOSSi Foundation has a new post with the details:
Produce your own physical chips. For free. In the Open.
Today, in a FOSSi Dial-Up talk, Tim Ansell of Google announced SkyWater PDK, the first manufacturable, open source process design kit. What differentiates this PDK from previous attempts is the fact that it is manufacturable: with this PDK, you can actually produce chips with the SkyWater foundry in the 130nm node.
That leaves you as chip designer only with one road block: money. Manufacturing chips is expensive – even for more than a decade old nodes like the 130nm node, you need to spend at least a couple thousand dollars.
You know what? Don’t worry – Google and efabless have got you covered! They are providing completely free of cost chip manufacturing runs: one in November this year, and multiple more in 2021. All open source chip designs qualify, no further strings attached!
A process design kit (PDK) is a by now fairly standard part of any transformation of a new chip design into silicon. A PDK describes how a design maps to a foundry’s tools, which itself are described by a DRM, or design rule manual. The FOSSi foundation now reports on a new, open PDK project launched by Google and SkyWater Technology. Although the OpenPDK project has been around for a while, it is a closed and highly proprietary system, aimed at manufacturers and foundries.
The SkyWater Open Source PDK on Github is listed as a collaboration between Google and SkyWater Technology Foundry to provide a fully open source PDK and related sources. This so that one can create manufacturable designs at the SkyWater foundry, that target the 130 nm node. Open tools here should mean a far lower cost of entry than is usually the case.
via Creating A Custom ASIC With The First Open Source PDK — Hackaday
The Free and Open Source Silicon (FOSSi) Foundation fosters open source semiconductor design and we’re proud to have become a sponsor! Julius Baxter writes on the FOSSi Foundation blog:
We are pleased to announce that OSH Park, the purveyors of perfect purple PCBs, have become sponsors of the FOSSi Foundation’s activities. We are very grateful for their support and would like to recognize this by listing them on our Sponsors page at the Bronze tier.
We are actively looking for sponsors for the Foundation, if you’re interested in learning more about our activities and why we are looking for sponsorship, then please visit our sponsorship page and for more, see our detailed sponsorship proposal document.
More information on the FOSSi Foundation:
Inspired by the success of open source software, the Foundation will help bring about IP and tools of comparable quality to proprietary offerings, and which are developed according to an open source model by a highly collaborative and inclusive community. The FOSSi Foundation will address the issues the field currently faces; fragmentation, legal uncertainty, design quality, and high barriers to entry.
FOSSi has launched LibreCores:
gateway to free and open source digital designs and other components that you can use and re-use in your digital designs.
FOSSi also organizes the ORConf: