Google funds open source silicon manufacturing shuttles for GlobalFoundries PDK

Monday, October 31, 2022

In August, we released the Process Design Kit (PDK) for the GlobalFoundries 180nm MCU technology platform under the Apache 2.0 license. This open source PDK, resulting from our ongoing pathfinding partnership with GlobalFoundries technology, offers open source silicon designers new capabilities for high volume production, affordability, and more voltage options by including the following standard cells:
  • Digital standard cells' libraries (7-track and 9-track)
  • Low (3.3V), Medium (5V, 6V) and High (10V) voltage devices
  • SRAM macros (64x8, 128x8, 256x8, 512x8)
  • I/O and primitives (Resistors, Capacitors, Transistors, eFuses) cells' libraries
Following the announcement about GlobalFoundries joining Google’s open source silicon initiative, we are now sponsoring a series of no-cost OpenMPW shuttle runs for the GF180MCU PDK in the coming months.

Those shuttles will leverage the existing OpenMPW shuttle infrastructure based on the OpenLane automated design flow with the same Caravel harness and the Efabless platform for project submissions.

Each shuttle run will select 40 projects based on the following criteria:
  • Design sources must be released publicly under an open source license.
  • Projects must be reproducible from design sources and the GF180MCU PDK.
  • Projects must be submitted within the shuttle deadline (projects submitted earlier get additional chances to be selected).
  • Projects must pass the pre-manufacturing checks.
The first shuttle GF-MPW-0 will be a test shuttle, with submissions open from Oct. 31, 2022 to Dec. 5, 2022. It will be used as a way to validate together with the community the integration of the new PDK with the open source silicon toolchain and the Caravel harness; further shuttles will have a longer project application window and improved testing.

We encourage you to re-submit your previous OpenMPW shuttle projects to this shuttle as a way to validate their portability across open source PDKs:
  • Go to
  • Navigate to the "Create a new Project" link.
  • Follow the instructions to integrate your project into the last version of the caravel_user_project template.
  • Make sure you select the right variant of the GF180MCU PDK (5LM_1TM_9K) by exporting the following environment variable PDK=gf180mcuC in your workspace prior to running any commands.
  • Submit your project for manufacturing on the Efabless platform.
We're excited to see designers and researchers leveraging this program by porting their existing projects that were submitted previously to OpenMPW shuttles, but also by designing new projects that target the GF180MCU PDK, finding paths together to research and advance the silicon ecosystem.

By Ethan Mahintorabi, Software Engineer and Johan Euphrosine, Developer Programs Engineer – Hardware Toolchains Team, and Aaron Cunningham, Technical Program Manager – Google Open Source Programs Office