Last month, Google launched a new division focused on bringing technology to educational and public sector institutions at the federal, state and local levels.
Google Public Sector has partnered with US chipmaker SkyWater Technology to create an open-source platform for designing semiconductors, which can then be manufactured in a SkyWater factory.
Chip design software, known as electronic design automation, is typically expensive to license, with test chip manufacturing costing tens of thousands of dollars. This incentive aims to eliminate these costs.
“We hope the collaboration will resolve what are truly historical limitations of chip design and production, both for national defense and commercial markets, as researchers benefit from greater accessibility and developers can browse this exploration faster and more frankly to reduce costs,” said Will Grannis, CEO of Google Public Sector.
The US Department of Defense is investing A$21.5 million in the platform. SkyWater CEO Thomas Sonderman explains that “one of the reasons the U.S. government is investing in this initiative is so they can then leverage a lot of this development.”
It comes as the US Senate passed a scaled-down version of the CHIPS Act, aimed at bolstering US semiconductor manufacturing.