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Jack.L
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CEO
Ah open cores ....
Jack.L   5/14/2014 2:27:38 PM
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You how now when there is a problem and the software guys point at the hardware guys and the hardware guys point at the software guys?

Now imagine a triangle .... good thing we have two hands as we will be pointing at two others :-)

It is not that I am against "open" anything, but perhaps one should ask why Linux does not rule the desktop, yet Android, and iOS, both new, rule handhelds.

High levels of complexity do require well planned, well executed, and yes, well managed executions.

High volume products require well planned, well executed and yes well managed support methodologies where software is concerned.

There is absolutely nothing preventing open-core initiatives ... so why has it not taken off? I think you need to answer that question first as if you can't, then it goes no where.

Let the discussion begin.

Jack.L
User Rank
CEO
Re: Ah open cores ....
Jack.L   5/14/2014 2:30:16 PM
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p.s.

Even with free labour, when has anyone been able to build anything of late for cheaper than they could buy it where electronics is concerned?

- Bare boards

- The test equipment needed to build it

- The tools

- The failures!

- Low volume part costs

- etc.

 

I am not saying never, but it sounds like one is trying to sell something that is not fully based in the real world.

Jack.L
User Rank
CEO
Re: Ah open cores ....
Jack.L   5/14/2014 2:36:55 PM
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Of course, there is a common "Thread" to any open source initiative .....

 

Everyone wants the inputs to what they do, whether it be software tools, hardware tools, Intellectual property, parts, etc. to be free and "open", but wants to be paid "fairly" for their outputs.

 

..... and then they wonder why the business model never seems to quite be as successful as they hoped for.

pinaz
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Rookie
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
pinaz   5/14/2014 3:08:53 PM
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As an engineer who does both firmware and hardware, I've looked at this phenomenon with bemusement.

 

Programming the blink rate of an LED has empowered the Arduino/Raspberry newcomer, and now giddy with their perceived success, they want to do the same thing in hardware (but misbelieving the next hurdle will be similarly easy).

 

Tweaking open-source software is one thing, but do we really need a proliferation of alternate, customized microcontrollers each with an instruction set with "remixed" opcode bits!?

 

Having said that... I've watched with delight as the cost of firmware and PCB development costs have come firmly into the reach of the average user, and wistfully wish that future might enable the same for multi-project wafers using older geometries.  I almost think open source obsession hinders this progression; if everyone insists on giving everything away (and providing free 24/7 support to boot), there is no incentive for newcomers to innovate.

 

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
Max The Magnificent   5/14/2014 4:11:16 PM
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@pinaz: ...and wistfully wish that future might enable the same for multi-project wafers using older geometries...

It's not quite in the "affordable by anyone" category, but did you see my column about the guy who designed his own SoC from the ground up in his basement and had it built as a shuttle project with the ASIC company? Click Here to see that tale.

 

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: Ah open cores ....
Max The Magnificent   5/14/2014 4:15:09 PM
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@Jack.L: Even with free labour, when has anyone been able to build anything of late for cheaper than they could buy it where electronics is concerned?

It's scary in a way.

I remember the days from my youth in England when there were a radio/TV repair shops all over the place -- also you could get a TV repair man to come to your house (the doctors woudl come to your house also).

I remember when you coudl buy a Heathkit and build something yourself -- up to and including a color television -- for much less than you could buy one.

Now I look at the stuff aroudn us and think "how can they possibly design, fabricate, box, and ship this and sell it in stores at such a low price?"

pinaz
User Rank
Rookie
Re: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
pinaz   5/14/2014 4:30:14 PM
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I had not seen that.  Thanks!  That took serious courage to outlay the capital needed.

There is tremendous untapped potential for optimized low-power signal processing architectures, but if it isn't for a server farm or a cell phone, I fear that an established chip company is probably NOT working on it.

 

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
Max The Magnificent   5/14/2014 4:35:35 PM
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@pinaz: I had not seen that.  Thanks! 

I live to serve LOL

This was the chip that ended up alongsize the Xilinx Zynq SoC FPGA isn the Parallella $100 supercomputer Kickstarter project

rick merritt
User Rank
Author
Re: Ah open cores ....
rick merritt   5/14/2014 7:20:58 PM
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@Jack L and pinaz: The NYT had a good analysis on how the OpenSSL issues highlighted the fact open source efforts go underfunded:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/19/technology/heartbleed-highlights-a-contradiction-in-the-web.html?_r=0

A fact that some compa nies are now trying to address: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/companies-back-initiative-to-support-openssl-and-other-open-source-projects/

 

AlPothoof
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Rookie
Re: Ah open cores ....
AlPothoof   5/15/2014 11:56:47 AM
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@Max: I remember when you coudl buy a Heathkit and build something yourself -- up to and including a color television -- for much less than you could buy one.

I actually built one, back in the early 80's; took me 24 hours.  It was my first color TV with a remote control.

I did it for 2 reasons: 1) you didn't have to be a EE to build it (a good thing as I have a surprisingly small amount of hardware background for an embedded software engineer) and 2) you could troubleshoot it later and parts were actually replaceable.

I don't remember why I got rid of it, probably reached a point where I couldn't get parts any more.  I do remember having the case off of it in the late 90's (I don't remember if I was troubleshooting something or just cleaning out out the accumulated dust).  That would have been at least 4 household moves after I built it so they were quite rugged.

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