Google and the US government partner to make open source chips
Google and the US government want to speed up the design and manufacturing of new semiconductor devices, adopting the open source model to let universities and startups run wild with innovative ideas. The cooperative research and development agreement will allow the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to design, develop and produce open source chips that researchers and companies will be free to use and adapt in their applications.
A new agreement between the US Department of Commerce and Google could spark a surge of new chip designs and innovations. According to the DoC, the Google-NIST partnership answers one of the most pressing issues in the semiconductor industry: big corporations have ready access to new chips and designs, while universities, researchers and small businesses face a major hurdle as they try to create something new. An open source chip design, which can be used without restrictions or licensing fees, should accelerate innovation and bring costs down dramatically.
The agreement states that NIST, together with its many research partners (University of Michigan, University of Maryland, George Washington University, Brown University, Carnegie Mellon, and others), will provide new chip designs to be manufactured by Skywater Technology in Minnesota. Google will fund the initial manufacturing cost, subsidizing the first production run as well