12 December 2007

Sun Open Sources Another Chip: So?

I'm pretty much the world's biggest fan of opening things up, but sometimes you do have to ask: what's the point?

Sun Microsystems on Tuesday followed through on a promise to release the designs of a second server processor as open-source software.

The design for Niagara 2, formally called the UltraSparc T2 and currently shipping in servers, now is governed by the General Public License (GPL)--though as with Niagara 1, Sun is using the earlier version 2 of the seminal license.

I applaud the sentiment behind this move, but wonder whether anyone will benefit. How many people are actually hacking on the design of chips?

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