Google to Collaborate with NIST to Develop Open-Source Chips

On Wednesday, Google and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a cooperative research and development contract. Google will fund the manufacture of open-source chips that university and small company researchers may use to design upcoming applications.

SkyWater Technology will manufacture the open-source ICs NIST and its collaborators created at its 200-mm fab in Bloomington, Minnesota. NIST or Google does not yet specify the process technologies that will be employed. However, SkyWater and Google already have an open-source 130nm process design kit (PDK) that may be used to create new circuits or alter existing open-source designs. 

Image: SkyWaters

NIST and its university research partners* will create 40 open-source chips suited for diverse uses, and Google will fund the first manufacturing run. Academic and small company researchers will access these chips and their open-source designs. Some of those chips may be further tweaked to create ICs targeted for a particular purpose, while others could be utilised to power other creative technologies without incurring licencing costs.

The main goal of NIST’s project is to shorten the time it takes for innovative goods to reach the market by giving interested parties access to crucial building blocks that will speed up product integration and prototyping. Google or other digital juggernauts may purchase the most innovative startups.

By creating a new and affordable domestic supply of chips for research and development, this collaboration aims to unleash the innovative potential of researchers and startups across the nation,” 

-NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio

NIST does not define the sort of open-source chips it intends to create. Still, it does state that it is interested in addressing novel memory systems, nanosensors, bioelectronics, and sophisticated technologies required for quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

Researchers will be able to prototype designs and cutting-edge technologies more rapidly if they have access to chips in this format, accelerating the technology transition from the lab to the industry.

Muhammad Zuhair
Passionate about technology and gaming content, Zuhair focuses on analysing information and then presenting it to the audience.