New Business Models: Open Sourcing Hardware

Sun's UltraSPARC will now be open source. This is a good idea, but can the software model work for hardware? I doubt chip designers are as numerous as programmers, but the wave of the future will be to design hardware just as easily as you design a web page. So someday, digital logic design skills will be common, and then we will problemably see more open source hardware.

  • Rob

    The cool thing about digital logic design is that it is actually high-level enough that we could implement it with a new as-yet-discovered fab technology. One thing you could do now is simulate the hardware you design… it’s just a slow process.

  • For most practical applications, I would think FPGAs would be need for an actual custom ASIC. The only reason I can think of why anyone would be interested in Sun’s thing would be if they wanted to add a few instructions to the Sun CPU..assuming there is actually enough real estate left over on the chip to do it.