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Open Source Hardware
Jamais Cascio, 8 Dec 03

WorldChanging readers are well-acquainted with open source software, such as Linux. We've also mentioned other realms in which the open source model is starting to be applied. But today's Slashdot brought a nice reminder that open source can even be brought into the world of material objects.

OpenCores is a project intended to develop a set of hardware designs which would allow a chip manufacturer to build a highly-functional system without having to license expensive proprietary core designs. Finally, after three years of work, OpenCores has come up with a silicon implementation. The OpenRISC 1000 chip is a System-On-Chip microcontroller, meaning that it includes everything from CPU functions to memory interface, data I/O, and networking on a single bit of hardware. SOC chips aren't new, but a design which is completely open is.

Okay, so the OpenRISC 1000 chip isn't all that world-changing, but it is a good example of how people are pushing the open source concept into every realm where information matters. And, as more of the material world takes on characteristics of the digital world, such realms are becoming increasingly common. And that is pretty world-changing.

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Comments

I like opencores very much.I am your sincerely surporter.


Posted by: Changing Ma on 13 May 04



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