Earlier this week, Google and GlobalFoundries (GloFo, or GF) joined forces to push forward the former's open silicon initiative. In addition to announcing the 'milestone' open-source chip-making venture, the partners released their Process Design Kit (PDK) for the GF 180MCU technology platform. The heady brew of open-source ingenuity and foundry access hopes to spark creativity and innovation in the hardware space. Given the GF 180MCU codename, the PDK and the associated project provide access to manufacturing using GloFo's 180nm process technology. In this way, the partners are pioneering the provision of open-source access to affordable high-volume manufacturing to a broader clientele. As PC enthusiasts reading about tech heavyweights advancing from single-digit nanometer process chips into the angstrom era, it might be easy to sneer at the GF180 process. However, Google expects 180nm to continue to be popular for chips like motor controllers, general purpose MCUs and PMIC, IoT Sensors, Dual Frequency RFID, and Motor Drives. Furthermore, the project should precipitate innovation and confirmation that the open source model for the foundry ecosystem is viable. Leading up to the announcement, Google spent two years working with SkyWater Technologies after releasing one of their PDKs under the Apache 2.0 license. Google completed… Read full this story
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