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Re: If you really want Free firmware...

On Tue, Dec 14, 2004 at 10:01:59AM -0500, Chasecreek Systemhouse wrote:

It would be nice if you included your name in your posts.

> On 14 Dec 2004 09:03:20 -0500, Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> > Hardware design has very different and higher third-party costs than
> > software design, and the cost to make and test minor revisions can be
> > a significant fraction of the cost to do the initial build.  As long
> > as that is true, free hardware is not possible on the same scale as
> > free software or with many of its benefits.
> Those costs exist mainly, IMHO, because the general public doesn't
> have wide spread manufacturing like Linux developers do with regard to
> software development.
> Personally I'm not buying it.  Hardware costs what it does for the
> same reasons as software -- to advance the state of the art and to
> create better hardware (or software as the case may be.)

What are you talking about?

ASICs (custom ICs) are costly to design and manufacture because it's
labour-intensive and requires expensive tools and expensive machines.
Those machines themselves were labour-intensive to design and build and
use expensive parts. etc.

If you know a way to create transistors that are only 90 nanometers
wide, or even 250nm, in your room at home, please share. (That's 90
billionths of a metre.)

I don't think this is just a case of not thinking out of the box.

That's the manufacturing. The design is a process of coding and testing,
which you could do yourself for free. (Of course there's no suitable
free tools yet either.) Unlike software, you have to get it right
quickly because the next revision of prototypes incurs all the same
costs again.

Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@debian.org> <hamish@cloud.net.au>

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