It's been a long time I put something here and my promise for this year is to be more active. I have been working quietly on the Chips4Makers low-volume manufacturer flow.
My most recent success is to have replaced the proprietary Verific plugin for Yosys to do synthesis on VHDL code with the open source ghdlsynth-beta from Tristan Gingold.
More details can be found in my blog post.
People who follow my project will have noticed that the crowdfunding campaign has come to an end. Unfortunately it did not reach it funding goal. Fortunately this does not mean the end (yet) for the Retro-uC and the Chips4Makers projects.
More details can be found in my latest blog post.
I posted a new blog post on another 'common wisdom' that would be violated by my project; e.g. that you need at least two iterations to get a working chip.
Inspired by the comment on social media on the launch of the Retro-uc crowdfunding campaign I posted a blog on startup costs and the choices made for the Retro-uC in order to reach a low funding goal.
The Retro-uC campaign is now live on crowdsupply.
So the time has come you can show your support for this project and for the silicon movement.
If you like it, please spread the word!
The technical stuff seems to finally converge to a phase that launching of the Retro-uC campaign is getting close. In the current state four product options are planned: a chip, a breadboardable board, a prototyping board and a stand-alone board with Arduino MEGA IO layout.
Inspired by the vibe I felt at the 34C3 conference I wrote my third part of the buzzwords article.
I really hope to be able to report more technical things in the short term but I am focusing currently on getting the production flow ready and discussions are going slow. Some changes should pup op on the gitlab repository in the coming days/weeks.
In my second part of the buzzwords article for this project I am discussing crowdfunding and why I think it is an important piece of the puzzle for low-volume open silicon.
It's also mentioned in the article that currently I am busy discussing the cost and the flow of the production run before officially launching the campaign. When this is finished I will be able to share more public information.