Facebook may finally be putting to rest years of reports suggesting the company might make its own smartphone. On Thursday, Facebook invited members of the press to attend a media event at its Silicon Valley headquarters. The invite said, "Come see our new home on Android."
One of the more prominent reports about Facebook's smartphone ambitions over the years is that the company would base its own device on Google's Android operating system. The invitation more or less confirms Facebook's interest in Android, but don't be fooled into thinking Facebook is going to make its own phone. (CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied Facebook's interest in hardware time and again.)
I can see the benefit of a tighter integration of FB apps with Android. Making a FB smartphone may not bring out a lot of value. One key aspects of smartphone is freedom of installing apps that will expand the "potential" of the device. Will FB bring out a game changer device (tablet or smartphone) if they indeed go for it? What kind of device will be really a game changer like when iPhone was launched?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.