The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Tuesday that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with Google to develop and produce chips that researchers can use to develop new nanotechnology and semiconductor devices.
According to the agency, the chips will be manufactured by SkyWater Technology at its Bloomington, Minnesota, semiconductor foundry. Google will pay the initial cost of setting up production and will subsidize the first production run. NIST, with university research partners, will design the circuitry for the chips.
The circuit designs will be open source, allowing academic and small business researchers to use the chips without restriction or licensing fees, the agency stated.
“NIST anticipates designing as many as 40 different chips optimized for different applications. Because the chip designs will be open source, researchers will be able to pursue new ideas without restriction and share data and device designs freely,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.