EE Times: Company puts processor under its Community Source License; some question move

“The adoption of open-source principles at Sun Microsystems Inc.
continues this week when the company puts a Sparc microprocessor
under its Community Source License (CSL) for the first time, hoping
to spread Sparc’s use in systems-on-a-chip.”

Some in the open-source community criticize the CSL for
deviating from true open-source licensing, and fellow processor
vendors are questioning whether Sun can make the CSL work. But
Sun’s efforts beg an even larger question: whether the open-source
policy that helped spawn the GNU and Linux software communities can
do the same for a piece of hardware.

“At the software level, if we look at Linux and other products,
it’s something that allowed a whole industry to get together and
get de facto standards,” said Derek Meyer, vice president of
marketing at Mips Technologies Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.). “At
the silicon level, it’s different.”