Google and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Wednesday Concluded a joint research and development agreement With this, Google will fund the production of open source chips that academic and small business researchers can use to build a variety of new applications.
The majority of newly developed devices require chips to enable their core or “smart” functions. But typically, startups founded at universities or small businesses don’t have the funding to develop their own chips, order custom chips from design houses, or procure off-the-shelf components in bulk. Hmm. But academics and small businesses tend to have bright ideas when it comes to new applications. So NIST decided to work with Google to turn the idea into a product.
From lab to factory, fast
Under the terms of the agreement, NIST and its university research partners* will design 40 open-source chips optimized for a variety of applications, and Google will pay the initial cost and first production run to set up production. provide funding for These chips and their open source designs will be made available to academic researchers and small business researchers working on a variety of projects. Some of these chips can be used to power a variety of innovative devices without paying licensing fees, while others can be further customized to build ICs for specific applications. I have.
A key idea of the NIST initiative is to provide stakeholders with critical building blocks to speed up prototyping and product integration and reduce time to market for new products. Startups with the most promising products may eventually be acquired by Google or other tech giants.
NIST has not specified the types of open-source chips it plans to design, but it will address new classes of memory devices, nanosensors, bioelectronics, and advanced devices needed for artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It is said that
Google Public Sector CEO Will Grannis said: He also democratizes innovation in nanotechnology and semiconductor research.
200mm wafer, 130nm node
Designed by NIST and its partners, the open-source ICs are manufactured at SkyWater Technology’s 200 mm fab in Bloomington, Minnesota.
So far, NIST and Google haven’t said which process technology they’ll use, but SkyWater and Google have an open-source 130nm process design kit that can be used to design new chips or customize other open-source designs. (PDK) already. Meanwhile, SkyWater not only offers 90nm and 130nm process technology, but also has his 65nm production node certified.
Interestingly, SkyWater provides these open source chips in wafers. This requires universities and other buyers to cut the chips into individual dies, assemble them into appropriate packages, and test the final chips in their own processing facilities.
*University of Michigan, University of Maryland, George Washington University, Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University.