Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Niagara 2 - the first Open Source main stream processor?

This sounds like news:
the blueprints for our UltraSPARC T2 (I personally like the moniker, "Niagara 2" - named after Niagara Falls, btw, and the great volumes of water that pass over them), the core design files and test suites, will be available to the open source community, via its most popular license: the GPL. Making Niagara 2 the only commodity silicon whose core designs are available to the open source community - whose strength, and market power, only grows by the day.
Jonathan Schwartz in his blog

I wander how will it be vexed by the Free Software community.

And by the way - will this amount of parallelism help Hurd.

1 comment:

David said...

Yes, this is cool.

While this may be the first dedicated processor produced in mass quantities that has an "open hardware design",
it's not the first open-source processor that can run common software.

"The OpenSPARC T1 multiprocessor has been released under the GPL license" --
"Former ST engineers offer free processor core" by Peter Clarke 2006

And I seem to remember that even earlier, someone had gotten Linux to run on a FPGA using a CPU design from OpenCores released under the GPL license.