Today there is no inexpensive and easy way for SMEs, startups and hobbyists to develop their own ASICs and bringing them to the market. All the silicon manufacturing nowadays is in the hands of a few big companies which play their monopoly of lone capability of manufacturing microchips by charging around 20'000 USD per prototype and letting an engineer wait for months until she/he can test her/his design physically. Additionally the EDA tools for designing chips are unaffordable for most start ups. We intend to change that!
In order to democratize the semiconductor market and stop being at the mercy of big proprietary semiconductor manufacturers a standardized free manufacturing process needs to be introduced in order to easily exchange designs and silicon verify them anywhere on the globe. That's what we're doing.
We aim to specify the target parameters of test structures we provide, required for supporting the LibreSilicon technology. If met, it becomes possible to test any ASIC (CMOS *and* analog!) somewhere in Tokyo and then download the design from GitHub and manufacture it somewhere in Texas.
Since at least the introduction of the Intel management engine the concerns about the trustworthyness of our CPUs is raising. By providing a fully open process and technology node which allows to publish the entire layout on GitHub, the doors for entirely free CPU platforms are being pushed open which allow for a full security audit down to the transistor level. Which means no more possible hidden hardware backdoors for intelligence agencies.
By using a blockchain solution in order to track the added value from the work of every contributor, without any human intervention required, it is ensured that everyone is being payed a fair price for the work and time she or he has invested into developing an ASIC or IP block. Manufacturing potential can be reported on a market place where customers can put up orders. The result will be something like a crypto exchange just without speculation, a way for people who want to buy chips and people with a basement containing a clean room to find each other. This becomes possible with our free semiconductor manufacturing process standard which allow reproducible results with varying setups.
11/14/2018: There will be a 1.5 hour talk about this project at Chaos Communication Congress 35c3.
12/16/2017: There will be a lightning talk about this project at Chaos Communication Congress 34c3.
Free semiconductors for everyone
from: 2018-05-19 Sat 12h
until: 2018-05-21 Mon OpenEnd
Zentralwerk Riesaer Str. 32, 01127 Dresden
For the ones eager to get started with the whole ecosystem, below there can be found all the information required to do so.
The GIT repository for the EDA can be found under the following URL:
The wiki page for the EDA can be found under the following URL:
Prebuilt Debian packages for the EDA can be found under the following URL:
The GIT repository for the standard cells is being maintained by Hagen under (CMOS only and only 1um yet!):
The GIT repository for the process spec is being maintained under (format LaTeX):
The web interface for subscribing for the mailinglist can be found der:
There is a weekly mumble conference on Sunday at 9pm HKT on the Mumble server: murmur.libresilicon.com