Electronic Products & Technology

First open-source silicon project reaches commercial availability

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Electronics Semiconductors Engineering chips open-source OpenTitan semiconductor silicon

OpenTitan partnership makes history, bringing trustworthy, transparent, secure silicon platform to market

lowRISC C.I.C., the open silicon ecosystem organization, and the OpenTitan coalition announced a historic milestone as the first open-source silicon project to reach commercial availability, with validated chips in hand. The capstone moment is the result of an unprecedented amount of support and investment by the nine coalition members, including Google, Winbond, Nuvoton, zeroRISC, Rivos, Western Digital, Seagate, ETH Zurich and Giesecke+Devrient, hosted by the non-profit lowRISC CIC.

“I am incredibly proud of the OpenTitan partnership for succeeding where every other project has failed – producing the first commercial quality open-source chip in the world,” said Dr. Gavin Ferris, CEO of lowRISC, OpenTitan’s host organization. “This is the culmination of the monumentally hard work of a vibrant and engaged community of contributors focused on a singular goal to achieve what’s never been done before – make open-source silicon work the same way as open-source software. I am grateful for this support and can’t wait for what’s to come.”

Google launched the OpenTitan project together with lowRISC and its partners in 2018 with the goal to make a completely transparent and trustworthy secure silicon platform. It is the world’s first open-source secure chip to include commercial-grade design verification, top-level testing and continuous integration. Capable of serving as the hardware root of trust, OpenTitan ensures that the hardware infrastructure and the software that runs on it remain in their intended, trustworthy state by verifying that the critical system components boot securely using only authorized and verifiable code.


Well-defined roadmap

With Google’s support, the project took off from its first year, setting it on a trajectory to make it the most active and successful open-source silicon project in history. Throughout its lifetime, the OpenTitan coalition thrived as an open silicon ecosystem, consistently following a well-defined roadmap from discrete to integrated secure silicon designs. The project partners are deeply engaged in this process, ensuring that the final designs are adaptable to many applications. OpenTitan also has a large and growing community of contributors beyond its formal partners. As a whole, the community resolves hundreds of pull requests and issues monthly.

“OpenTitan in silicon is the realization of many years of dedication and hard work from our team. It is a significant moment for us and all contributors to the project,” emphasized Miguel Osorio, OpenTitan lead at Google.

“We’ve been privileged to work closely with our OpenTitan coalition partners from early on and are even prouder now to bring the first ‘EarlGrey’ OpenTitan chip design to market, demonstrating our leadership in open, secure ICs,” said Erez Naory, VP of client and security products at Nuvoton. “Open-source secure silicon is now proven as a radical leap forward in solving the market’s need for a truly trustworthy foundation.”


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