December 17, 2003

Open Source Takes on Hardware Biz

The open-source movement may be giving the software industry a run for its money. But can it do the same for hardware? According to Damjan Lampret, founder of, a consortium of developers dedicated to applying open source to hardware design, the answer is
a resounding "Yes."

Speaking before a group of 30 representatives from the hardware industry Monday night at the Freedom Technology Center in Mountain View, California,
Lampret unveiled the organization's most recent development: a functional system-on-chip microprocessor, developed entirely from freely available
open-source blueprints.

The announcement, Lampret claims, marks the first time an organization has bypassed patented technology to manufacture a complete system-on-chip. Such
microprocessors are desirable because they contain multiple control units and enable manufacturers to build computers with fewer separate components.

Lampret believes the open-source innovation could lead the hardware industry to develop cheaper and more cutting-edge devices in coming years.



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