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OpenSPARC and Power.org, Who has it Right? 125

Andy Updegrove writes "Last summer, IBM set up Power.org, to promote its PowerPC chip as what it called 'open hardware.' This year, Sun launched the OpenSPARC.net open source project around the source code for its Niagara microprocessor. But what does 'open' mean in the context of hardware? In the case of Power.org, Juan-Antonio Carballo said, 'It includes but is not limited to open source, where specifications or source code are freely available and can be modified by a community of users. It could also mean that the hardware details can be viewed, but not modified. And it does not necessarily mean that open hardware, or designs that contain it, are free of charge.' True to that statement, you have to pay to participate meaningfully in Power.org, as well as pay royalties to implement - it's built on a traditional RAND consortium model. To use the Sun code, though, its just download the code under an open source license, and you're good to go to use anything except the SPARC name. All of which leads to the questions: What does 'open' mean in hardware, and which approach will work?"

Negroponte says Linux too 'Fat' 839

Cadef writes "According to a story on CNet News.com, Nicholas Negroponte says that Linux has gotten too fat, and will have to be slimmed down before it will be practical for the $100 laptop project. From the article: 'Suddenly it's like a very fat person [who] uses most of the energy to move the fat. And Linux is no exception. Linux has gotten fat, too.'"

ARM Offers First Clockless Processor Core 351

Sam Haine '95 writes "EETimes is reporting that ARM Holdings have developed an asynchronous processor based on the ARM9 core. The ARM996HS is thought to be the world's first commercial clockless processor. ARM announced they were developing the processor back in October 2004, along with an unnamed lead customer, which it appears could be Philips. The processor is especially suitable for automotive, medical and deeply embedded control applications. Although reduced power consumption, due to the lack of clock circuitry, is one benefit the clockless design also produces a low electromagnetic signature because of the diffuse nature of digital transitions within the chip. Because clockless processors consume zero dynamic power when there is no activity, they can significantly extend battery life compared with clocked equivalents."

Wikipedia Covers April Fool's Hoaxes 129

vladd_rom writes "Wikipedia maintains an up to date list with April Fools hoaxes from this year. The list already includes hundreds of entries. Among the most popular, one could find Google Romance, a new Google.com project, Google Browser, as well as Yahoo!'s desire to buy all Web 2.0 companies on the web. However, it seems that this year hoaxes will be more interconnected: the wiki page already includes some websites that announced that they have been bought by Yahoo!, and linked to Yahoo!'s blog post from their pages."

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As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. -- Albert Einstein

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