In Issue #13 we reported about Sam Zeloof. Sam has been fabricating his own chips in his garage (to be exact, his parents' garage) with his Z1 and Z2 home-brew chips. To accumulate the design and fabrication knowledge necessary, is quite an accomplishment. But to actually implement the whole thing in reality is quite another.
Now, for the third time, this possibility is open to all those, whose parents don't have a garage. 😏
efabless.com sponsored by Google goes into the third round with their Open MPW Program.
8 shuttles each 40 slots are available - arithmetic says that this means 320 open source designs will find their way down onto a silicon waver.
In the last two MPW-1 and 2 runs, processor cores, SOCs, crypto miners, FPGAs and all kinds of custom chips went into production. Designs that will be registered now, should actually be in the hands of their creators by mid-October.
The highlight: Google bears the costs. 💳
Chosen designs will be integrated into a prefabricated Caravel - so that IO and a RISC-V management SOC are available directly on-chip, to let the own creation communicate with the outside world.
The only hard prerequisite: the entire design must be made available to the general public as open source. It is doubtful, that an 8-bit design will be included in MPW-3, but there is still some planning time until MPW-4 ... 🪛