Open source hardware comes out of closet

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| EVER SINCE open-source software created a buzz, people have stroked chins,
| pondered and pontificated about the possibility of open-source hardware – and
| now it’s becoming a reality.


The Future of Hardware is Open Source

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| Open Hardware is the future of technology, and all we need to kick off this
| next great revolution in technology is to have the right tools in the right *
| place at the right time. *After that, the sky’s the limit! *

Open Source Hardware: Birth Of A Long Tail Market?

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| And when there is unrestricted collaboration, nearly anything is possible.
| Buglabs, the open source hardware movement and other yet-to-be discovered
| frontiers have the same opportunity here. *

Do we need an open hardware license?

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| Still, Hicks says that it's possible to use open source hardware designs with
| field-programmable gate arrays, "which are quite affordable," and points to
| OpenSPARC and the OPENCORES community of open hardware designers as examples
| of real-world usage of open hardware. *
| Phipps says that he sees open hardware following in the footsteps of FOSS,
| though he says mainstreaming of open hardware "will take much longer ... to
| get a foothold." *

Perens set to tackle open-source hardware

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| On Monday, Perens plans to announce the TAPR Open Hardware
| License, a document written by John Ackerman designed
| specifically to govern hardware designs that can be
| modified and redistrubuted. Perens plans to submit the
| license to the Open Source Initiative for its as an
| open-source license.

Boot Linux Faster With An Open BIOS

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| Another interesting approach involves using Linux itself to initialize the
| hardware. The LinuxBIOS takes the approach of loading a small Linux kernel
| directly into the boot ROM. This approach is increasingly practical now that
| boards have 1-2MB of flash ROM onboard, according to Seebach. *

First desktop motherboard supported by LinuxBIOS: GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4

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| The GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 [1] is the first-ever desktop motherboard
| supported by a Free & Open Source BIOS, thanks to AMD engineer
| Yinghai Lu who released GPL-licensed code last month.

LinuxBIOS: The Forgotten Hero

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| This begs the question: is anyone currently using LinuxBIOS on
| their machines? You bet they are. According to one recent report,
| LinuxBIOS was installed on about one million machines and that
| existing number is expected to rise significantly, assuming the
| rate of growth remains constant.

Google Sponsors the LinuxBIOS project

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| The LinuxBIOS project aims to take down the last barrier in Open
| Source systems by providing a free firmware (BIOS) implementation.

LinuxBIOS ready to go mainstream

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| LinuxBIOS is intended to provide a philosophically free replacement
| for proprietary firmware in chipsets.