"The concept of open source hardware has the potential to
solve many of the problems currently facing the semiconductor
industry. Commodity electronic components and implementations
of industry standard protocols may be more efficiently designed and
distributed in an open source fashion. Furthermore, the widely
heralded system-on-chip revolution will require the
"commoditization" of semiconductor intellectual property, which may
in many cases be more efficiently produced in a open source model.
This paper will explore those ideas and propose possible business
situations in which the open source hardware model could be
"Increasing integration is putting pressure on commodity
semiconductor component markets by forcing devices to become more
complex, more expensive to design, and consequently more dependent
on the development of intellectual property. The so-called "system
on chip" revolution will fail unless commodity component
manufacturers can easily integrate IP they did not themselves
create. An efficient intellectual property sharing system will have
the benefit of preventing needless duplication of design effort by
many competing companies..."
"Open source is known to promote uniform, high quality
standards, while competitive design can often fragment standards as
companies vie for control (see Java-Script for an example of a
software platform that was demolished by competition). An open
source hardware development model would help establish a standard
design automation tool chain and would strongly influence EDA tool
vendors to work towards compatibility. Participants in IP markets
often employ means of encryption and access control designed to
limit a licensee's access to the intellectual property. These
measures impose transaction costs and raise prices for consumers.
Also, they further reduce transparency in a market that already
suffers from a lack of transparency. An open source strategy
eliminates many legal issues that give rise to transaction costs,
eliminates the need for cumbersome access control measures, and
achieves the highest level of transparency possible in an
intellectual property market."
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