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
ORCONF 2016 was held earlier this month in Bologna, Italy:
ORCONF is an open source digital design and embedded systems conference, covering areas of electronics from the transistor level up to Linux user space and beyond. Expect presentations and discussion on free and open source IP projects, implementations on FPGA and in silicon, verification, EDA tools, licensing and embedded software, to name a few.
Begun as the annual OpenRISC developers and users conference, it has become a broad open source digital design-oriented event and is supported by FOSSi – the Free and Open Source Silicon Foundation.
Elkim Roa spoke about OnChip, an Open Source silicon microcontroller, designed by his research group at UIS (Universidad Industrial de Santander):
The slides are available as PDF on GitHub:
OnChipUIS has several repos on GitHub related to the project including:
mriscv: A 32-bit Microcontroller featuring a RISC-V core
An annotated mRISCV die imageI don’t know about you, but the idea of an Arduino-class microprocessor board which uses completely open silicon is a pretty attractive prospect to us. That’s exactly [onchipUIS]’s stated goal. They’re part of a research group at the Universidad Industrial de Santander and have designed and taped out a Cortex M0…
via A Completely Open Microcontroller — Hackaday
Not only have [onchipUIS] successfully bonded their chip, but they’ve done so using a chip on board process where the die is directly bonded to a PCB. They used OSHPark boards and described the process on Twitter.