© SkyWater Business | November 17, 2020
SkyWater finds partners to enable open source ASIC manufacturing
US pure play semiconductor foundry, SkyWater Technology, along side semiconductor crowdsourcing platform Efabless, announces a Google partnership to enable open source manufacturing of custom ASICs.
Through a partnership between Google, SkyWater and Efabless, open source designs selected by the program will be fabricated at no cost to the designers. The MPW program is enabled by the first foundry-supported open source process design kit (PDK) for 130 nm mixed-signal CMOS technologies (SKY130 process). The initiative aims to enable a complete open source manufacturing supply chain for custom application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). “Google has a strong history of supporting open source silicon through being a founding member of both the RISC-V Foundation and the Linux Foundation's CHIPS Alliance project,” says Parthasarathy Ranganathan, distinguished engineer, Google in a press release, “Working through its Open Source Programs Office (OSPO), Google is actively engaged in helping seed the open silicon space, specifically by providing funding, strategic, and legal support to key open hardware efforts including lowRISC and CHIPS Alliance.” In support of the shuttle program, Efabless has released a complete Apache 2.0-licensed open source RTL2GDS design stack, referred to as openLANE, that supports the SKY130 PDK and is available to designers worldwide. The general idea is that the offering will accelerate innovation in the 130 nm mixed-signal SoC node popular for IoT type applications by removing barriers and obstacles relating to experimentation and collaboration for IC design. “Launching the portal for design submission is a milestone in connecting a global community of experts who can openly collaborate to create and verify ASICs and supporting IP,” says Mohamed Kassem, Efabless chief technology officer and co-founder. “The open source model multiplies the collaboration in semiconductor chip design. And this is just the start.” John Kent, SkyWater executive vice president of technology development and design enablement adds, “We expect the new open source foundry PDK to serve as an excellent enablement engine for generating re-usable IP which will amplify idea generation and feed product development that is ongoing in the IoT and industrial space.”
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