Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
IBM Entertainment Games Hardware

IBM Plans to Open the Cell Processor 430

morcheeba writes "According to an EETimes article, IBM is planning on releasing the full specifications and software libraries for the powerful processor that will be in the Playstation 3. The goal is to stimulate open-source development for other applications of the chip. The article doesn't mention if there will be some affordable development systems for all these programmers -- I'm hoping for a ps3 devkit." From the article: "IBM is eager to find other opportunities for Cell, but it's going to take a lot of software work...Going to the open-source community makes sense, because they could attract a lot of pretty smart programmers who could spin out software and applications for Cell."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IBM Plans to Open the Cell Processor

Comments Filter:
  • What I wonder... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caino59 ( 313096 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:41PM (#12625943) Homepage
    is how does Sony feel about this?
    • It's IBM's creation, is it not? What say does Sony have in the matter?
      • by caino59 ( 313096 )
        Oh, I realize Sony doesn't have a say in the matter, however, I still wonder how they feel about this.

        This will blow 3rd party development wide open for the next gen Playstation.

        Look at Sony's history - they normally don't like that so much.
        • This will blow 3rd party development wide open for the next gen Playstation.

          Just like 3rd party development is wide open for the xbox, just because the cpu is publicly documented. Keep dreaming.

        • That doesn't mean everything that someone in their basement makes for the PS3 will end up on store shelves in a box indicating the game's been cleared for release on the platform.

          Besides, they might not like it, but they sure as hell have to see the benefit to it over a totally closed system. Well I HOPE they see the benefit. As you say, this IS Sony we're talking about.
    • by vasqzr ( 619165 )
      The goal is to stimulate open-source development for other applications of the chip. The article doesn't mention if there will be some affordable development systems for all these programmers -- I'm hoping for a ps3 devkit."

      Just because the chips specs will be out, doesn't mean the whole PS3 will be open. So that won't happen.

    • I'm sure they're thrilled to have a much larger collective effort being put into their product. Wouldn't you?
    • Re:What I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:46PM (#12626008) Homepage Journal
      Probably do not care. The Cell is only part of the PS3 it is pretty unlikely that anyone else will build a console with it. It could actually help Sony in the long run.
      The more people that buy Cells to put in to widgets the lower the cost for Sony.
      • is pretty unlikely that anyone else will build a console with it.
        Yeah, but the PowerPC CPUs in the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Revolution are pretty darn close...
        • Re:What I wonder... (Score:3, Informative)

          by jericho4.0 ( 565125 )
          Details are sketchy on the 360's cpu. "3 64 bit Power cores with altivecs and 2 threads each" pretty much captures it. The description sounds pretty mundane, and is probably just like it sounds.

          The Cell, OTOH, seems quite novel, and does some very interesting things, even if it does share the Power core. The published benchmarks are very impressive, though admittedly in a narrower domain than what you might be useing your PC for.

          • Re:What I wonder... (Score:3, Interesting)

            by radish ( 98371 )
            Mundane? Considerably faster than pretty much any desktop processor available, 3 cores when Intel and AMD are only just launching dual core units, 3.2Ghz PPC compared to the 2.7 that Apple use now, 1 teraflop in a games console? All that's "mundane"? You need to step away from the supercomputers and come join us in the real world.
    • by Wandering-Seraph ( 878056 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:47PM (#12626019)
      "In this light, IBM, Toshiba and the third Cell partner, Sony Corp., are turning to the open-source community to drum up interest in the architecture."

      Doesn't sound like they're particularly upset about it.
    • by John Seminal ( 698722 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:51PM (#12626071) Journal
      how does Sony feel about this?

      Sony must have given its approval for releasing this information. It could not happen without them.

      If Sony did not know, and IBM made this move without their approval, I could see Sony NEVER buying from IBM again. That is too big a risk for IBM. Heck, most companies would think twice.

      Will it be easier to make a mod chip if people know how the processor works? Or did Sony add their DRM elsewhere? Who knows. IBM is not releasing the blueprints for the Playstation 3, just the processor.

      Sony is a big company that hires smart people. Maybe they figured out hiding the electronics will not prevent reverse engineering. Maybe the new PS3 has some technology that makes it difficult to mod.

      Maybe this is like Microsofts WMV, it is unhackable, nobody can get it to play a stream if DRM v9 is enabled. Not one person on the planet. And it has been over a year now.

      For the PS3, they don't need for their game machine to be unhackable forever, just until the PS4 comes out. :)

      • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @05:13PM (#12627589) Homepage
        The DRM enforcement is inside the CPU itself. Trying to add a mod-chip likely isn't going to work short of replacing the CPU itself. Replacing it with another CELL chip just stick you back in the original DRM jail cell, and trying to replace it with another CPU or with an emluated CELL won't work.

        Each Cell is given a GUID, a global identifier, [] and will come with a crypto-signature authenticating it as a genuine DRM secure chip.

        You can't defeat the system without (1) extracting secret keys from each chip one-by-one, or (2) generating a fake crypto signature to falsely authenticate a non-DRM enforcing chip. If you do manage to extract a key from one of the chips and they find out about it, they will place that key on a revokation list and it will become useless. So each chip you manage to rip and extract a key is good for creating one "liberated" system, and you still have to be extremely careful that no one can ever detect that you have done so.

        The Pentium 3 unique ID numbers got killed off because of public outrage, and that system was nothing compared to what they've built into the CELL processor. It's about time we see some coverage of this aspect of the chip, and refuse to buy any CELL chips or CELL hardware unless these UNIQUE PROCESSOR IDENTIFIERS are removed.

    • IBM is gonna release the CPU specs, not the PS3 specs, big difference.

      For example, the PS1 uses a MIPS R3000. You can find the specs for this processor in a lot of places (just google "mips r3000" if interested).

      Knowing that, you know about NOTHING of the Playstation, as there are a lot of additional hardware.

      A game console has more CPU dedicated to a special task than a PC.
  • Sign me up! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stuffduff ( 681819 )
    I'll have it doing a lot more than just playing games in no time!
    • Re:Sign me up! (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) *
      Like connecting to the Internet? Oh wait...

      You mean like crunching numbers and displaying the results on the screen? Oh wait...

      Do you mean like making real time simulations? Oh wait...

      My point is that game machines do everything that all the other machines do. They just do it graphically.
  • by theGreater ( 596196 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:43PM (#12625964) Homepage

    Holy crap! That's amazing. Now, is this "fully open" a la' "Shared Source" or "fully open" as in "you have the same docs we do?" And what's with the comment about hardware discounts?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:44PM (#12625971)
    I just realized this means both next-gen consoles and the GameCube all use IBM processors. Impressive. Now I hope they can hang on to the Mac market, and maybe both will benefit from advances in the other.
    • I agree.

      Mac notebooks are particularly excellent - both iBook & Powerbook.

      Now if they can make good products from these processors, maybe more games will be available for that platform. At the very least, one would have some market value in porting the games to that platform.

      I'd have switched to Mac a long time ago, but games are one of the main things holding me back. I already use Linux exclusively for development, but there aren't many games for Linux. But Mac could have the best of both the world
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Now if they can make good products from these processors, maybe more games will be available for that platform. At the very least, one would have some market value in porting the games to that platform.

        I've been hearing this argument a lot lately but I just can't quite understand it. So the consoles will all be using a variation of the Power processor. How does that translate into more games for the Mac? Linux has been running on x86 hardware forever yet no one has every tried to say, "Windows games ru
        • In case of x86, Windows was an early adopter and that is why it is stuck - it has nothing to do with the hardware, but rather the OS.

          On the other hand, if you have a hardware platform made specifically for games and one which excels in games by providing more processing muscle, people *will* make games for it.

          In this case, it is originally being made for games *anyway* - which means, it is already a big plus. Therefore, the chances of more games being developed is high, if it gets adopted by a large chunk
      • You can get an iBook and still keep your Wintendo, you know. Talk to some of the other Mac users at Tech; I guarantee that's what they do.
        • You think so?

          I'd love to own an iBook, my damn notebook is SO humongous when compared to those Macs that I feel stupid lugging them around.

          I probably should find out if there is a Tech Mac User's Group of sorts! ;)
    • When you say "both next-gen consoles," don't you mean "all three?" The Nintendo Revolution will have an IBM CPU too!
    • What else? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @05:31PM (#12627747) Homepage
      What else is out there anyway? The main contenders are PPC and Intel. Both Intel and AMD produce x86/64 chips only. Sure everyone also produces arm/strongarm chips, but theyre still weak, the fastest strongarm from Intel is used on higher end PDAs.

      Whats left is MIPS, Ultrasparc, PA-RISC, Alpha and special purpose FPGA chips.

      MIPS is dead. SGI was producing servers on Itanium which also died.

      Ultrasparc is dying in favor of x64. Sun guards its IP jealously. Low throughput but high floating and thread performance.

      PA-RISC gives the best bang for the MHz. Good float, everything else runs too hot for now. Old old architecture.

      Alpha was killed by HP. They'll try to sell you Itanium or PARISC before they sell you an Alpha. Development on it has completely stopped since 21264c. And I mean COMPLETELY.

      FPGA chips are less efficient, and better use an ARM than an fpga chip.

      So the two champions are PPC (and its derivative, Cell) and x86/x64.

      Architecturally, PPC, and a 64-bit-only x64 are efficient. But IBM has been trying to push PPC in the market, working hard on a grand plan to take the market dominance away from x86. Look at all their offerings for Linux on PPC. They're prepping up this combination against wintel... and any usage of PPC means profits for them and Motorola, mostly to IBM in the higher end.

      The choice is rather easy. If you will not use an IBM chip for a higher-end game console, what will you choose?
  • Sam Fisher? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mille Mots ( 865955 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:45PM (#12625998)
    I guess if they encourage development outside of the Sony realm, they'd be fostering a 'Splinter Cell?'
  • Calling all pawns... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PenchantToLurk ( 694161 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:46PM (#12626011)
    IBM wants open source dev on cells like MS wants developers coding for Windows. It's an sales tool to convince manufacturers to source their parts.

    Given that the only cell device is the PS3, and that sony would sooner slit their wrists than let users write their own code for it, we can only assume that IBM is hoping somebody else will pick up the cell for consumer devices.
    • Well I can only assume Sony didn't sign any sort of exclusivity agreement for Cell, and in the corporate world "hey that's kind of unfair!" isn't exactly a grounds for suit.

      Sony can't do much about this now, anyway, it's way too late in the game to switch processors, and IBM probably has enough patents on the thing to prevent anyone from making an equivalent too soon.

      Somehow I don't think this is going to hurt Sony though. True blue Geek Buzz generates the right kind of attention to a new product. If pe
  • Applicable uses (Score:2, Interesting)

    by module0000 ( 882745 )
    Unless mainstream systems start shipping, are we really going to see people using cell-based personal computers? If some affordable boards are developed then it would make sense to see alot of open source developed embedded solutions. After the demo of the cell processor some time ago decoding 17 video streams simultaneously, it should have some real potential for home/commercial media centers on embedded platforms.
  • by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:49PM (#12626048)
    The original IBM compatible standard (what we just call X86 nowadays) took off when Compaq reverse-engineered the BIOS and created the first "clone" of a "genuine" IBM PC. This undoubtedly resulted in explosive growth for Intel, who made the CPU. Now that IBM is manufacturing the chip (instead of Intel for the first IBM PC), it is absolutely in their best interest to make the Cell processor as mainstream as possible by opening up all of its specs.
  • ... Linux on Playstation!
  • by harryoyster ( 814652 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:50PM (#12626068) Homepage
    This could have a good plus side for many developers. One of the issues that I have been getting into lately is the open source appliance development. Previously I have been using xbox's and more recently the mac mini. One of the problems that I have had in developing software, tools and libaries is that I am often stuck with a lack of alternatives in hardware and performance. by having open plans for a high performance platform it will potentially give or open entirely new roads in development.
  • by jameson ( 54982 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:50PM (#12626069) Homepage
    Good thinking, IBM. Now, let's get SML/NJ [], Haskell [], and O'Caml [] ported to these things.

    "Why", you may wonder, but the answer is simple: Referential transparency or any kind of confinement of side-effects makes for easy parallelisation, which is what these Cell thingies are supposed to rock at.

    This might be the one thing that will put FP back into the undergraduate curriculum.

    -- Christoph
    • Difficult as it is, I think most programmers would rather learn multithreading than functional programming.
      • Hi,

        Interesting conjecture, and I frankly don't know whether you'd be right about that or not. The reason why I mentioned "putting FP back into the curriculum" was, however, that it is my understanding that, if you're right, there's a good chance that programmers would prefer multithreading in imperative languages precisely because it'd be closer to what they'd be used to. So, by getting them used to FP, we'd see a "more fair" evaluation of the practicality of this approach.

        Alternatively, we might ultimate
        • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:17PM (#12626337) Homepage
          The reason why I mentioned "putting FP back into the curriculum" was, however, that it is my understanding that, if you're right, there's a good chance that programmers would prefer multithreading in imperative languages precisely because it'd be closer to what they'd be used to. So, by getting them used to FP, we'd see a "more fair" evaluation of the practicality of this approach.

          Your idea seems to be that idealism would drive the CS curriculum, which then would drive the industry. My observation over the last 10 years has been the opposite. In 1996, CS freshman were learning Scheme and Haskell; today they are using Java, because "it's more practical and aligned with the industry" or some such excuse. But now that the bust has eliminated all the "I just want to get rich" CS students, maybe it will swing the other way.
          • I don't know about other places, but my impression was at least in the UK nearly all CS degrees have an FP component. I know at Durham we do Haskell, as well as propositional/predicate logic as used in theorem provers.

            That said, I'm not totally convinced Haskell will take off even if FP does become hugely mainstream. As a language it has pretty atrocious usability. More likely, mainstream imperative languages will incorporate extensions that allow for function programming: after all, parametric polymorphi

      • Part of the advantage of FP is that it can be automatically parallelized much easier than imperative code, and is easier and less error-prone to write than multithreaded imperative code.
    • This might be the one thing that will put FP back into the undergraduate curriculum.
      For what it's worth, the intro to CS class at Georgia Tech is based on Scheme.
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:55PM (#12626131)
    Something this high-profile will help the business world see even more clearly the sheer, unadulterated power of Open Source.

    I predict that the most innovative and enjoyable apps and games will come from developers who are working independently, on thier own, or in small groups, out of pure love of code. That is the way it has always been.
  • by WebCowboy ( 196209 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:56PM (#12626136)
    Nice to see someone as important as IBM realising the importnace of open HARDWARE. I've found that until recently the concept has been overlooked or even derided. Even open software advocates didn't "get it" and said it could never work, becasue hardware is different--the argumant was that hardware isn't something individuals or small companies could influence becasue of the high cost of entry, and big companies needed to make money off licensing closed IP to fund development and production of new hardware.

    This day and age, such an argument is complete BUNK. Hardware design is done on computers and chip specifications are more often than not specified in VHDL or Verilog--the "source code" of hardware if you will. Not only is design and simulation within the reach of even hobbyists, the end result is very similar to software in characteristics. While IBM is not completely opening things up to the point of showing the "source code" of the Cell processor, it is a great step to see all the specifications etc. without encumbrances.

    Quite frankly I'm surprised the open source movement hasn't advocated open hardware much more vigourously. After experiences around NVidia and ATI and Intel you'd have to be a fool not to realise that open hardware isn't just an interesing idea, it is NEEDED for the success of open software.
    • I think you're reaching for an analogy that isn't there. Intel, AMD, etc. publish specs on their processors, too. This isn't a new thing.

      Hardware design is done on computers and chip specifications are more often than not specified in VHDL or Verilog--the "source code" of hardware if you will. Not only is design and simulation within the reach of even hobbyists, the end result is very similar to software in characteristics.

      Except when I write software, I can actually run it. If I got ahold of some VHDL
    • Yeah, you can simulate it in Verilog (on a high-end Linux server, no less), and get other companies to do your fab for you, but it still costs a minimum of about $100,000 for each chip spin to get actual hardware -- hardly within reach of your average hobbyist. Add to that tens of thousands to license the cores used. I think only a handful of large companies will be designing and building chips for the forseeable future. In fact, if you can't amortize your development costs over about a million chips, it is
    • Some people [] are on this big-time... they even have a song []!
    • You're absolutely right.

      IBM has been doing this for a very, very long time. Ever wonder how the IBM-Compatible PC became so popular, and the Apples didn't? It's simple, IBM kept the AT backplane and CPU architecture open, and Apple didn't. Maintainers of the machines don't have to worry about interoperability, and have a huge list of vendors they can get software and add-on hardware from.

      Open hardware is just as important as the software that runs on it.
    • OpenCores (Score:5, Informative)

      by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @04:18PM (#12627014) Homepage Journal
      Open Cores [] is a site that aims to do for hardware what Sourceforge did for software. They have a good collection of processors, memory chips, network and other I/O devices, etc.

      I've got my own project on there, in a bid to develop a totally parallel OO-based processor, but not had much time to work on that recently.

      Those interested in Open Hardware should visit this and similar sites, to see what is happening out there, whether or not they believe the idea could work in practice. Why? Because it is an excellent source of ideas, and ideas are what keep all the IT markets moving.

      • by swillden ( 191260 ) *

        Because it is an excellent source of ideas, and ideas are what keep all the IT markets moving.

        Really? I thought patents and intellectual property lawsuits were what keep the IT markets moving.

  • by Irish_Samurai ( 224931 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:00PM (#12626181)
    Why wouldn't Sony want IBM to do this. Since the platform specific game developer is going the way of the Dodo, how do you get an edge?

    Perhaps by giving every anti-Microsoft fanatic video game freak an outlet? When licensed 3rd party support becomes even on both sides of the map, it will be consumer mods that make the difference to gamers. Can I mod chip it to play foreign games? Can I put vinyl kits on it? Can I use it to power my toaster?

    Theoretically, one might be able to write some code that will allow you to play foreign games without having to void your warranty. How huge is that?

    Also, Sony is going to need something extra to get people to buy it's system after a XBOX 360 Holiday season, and this may just be that.
  • Wonderful (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 )
    Now if someone can just tell me:
    1) When will the chip be available?
    2) How much power will it disipate?
    3) How much will it cost?
    Then maybe I can design a product around it. Until then, it's vaporware for all practical intents and purposes.
  • The Cell's Future? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quark101 ( 865412 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:03PM (#12626204)
    It seems to me that this is a first step by IBM to try and move the Cell more into the foreground of computing i.e. to start transitioning computers over to start using Cell instead of x86. Going to the open source community with this project is the only feasible way to do this anymore, really. As much as big companies might like to, they will not be able to put in near the amount of effort or creativity that open source can provide.

    As well, I think that moving to Cell would be a very positive step for the computer industry as a whole, helping it to get out of a rut that it seems to have fallen into. The benefits are enormous, the least of which is that if Cell starts becoming standard, average computing power of a desktop will skyrocket, allowing for brand new, highly computing intensive applications to be developed.
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:04PM (#12626214)
    "It can be hard to give stuff away for free," Kahle said in an interview

    This has the sound of the next Slashdot Fortune Cookie in the making -- or should I say in the baking?

  • the cheaper it will be to produce for the long haul. I would think Sony would be in favor of that.
  • Script Flip Chip (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:06PM (#12626229) Homepage Journal
    This setup looks a lot like the inverse of IBM's greatest strategic loss: the PC. That time, IBM had the brand, and sold hardware to a maverick niche market of PC hobbyists. They viewed software, including the OS, as a necessary sidelight, and let Microsoft judo them out of their control of the market revolution they created. IBM later lost $20B as their market failure came home to roost, and never recovered the leadership they squandered.

    This time, IBM is the necessary part in the Playstation, which is in the hands of this generation's maverick niche market: gamers. Their Cell processors give them Microsoft's opportunity: base the market in the demanding niche, and market their product outside of it, leveraging their market feedback and brand into the larger market, including supplying competitors to the original platform. IBM is flipping the script: selling hardware means opening the software promotes their sales, inverting Microsoft's formula of taking software proprietary to capture more of the market defined by the hardware.

    It all looks great on paper. Especially the greater scalability and persistence of open software, compared to Microsoft's centralized, proprietary approach. Time will tell if IBM can manage the opportunity, competing against Microsoft, as well as Microsoft did in the 1980s - and better than Microsoft will in the 2000s.
  • They're opening up the specs and associated software. Why TF does the processor need associated software, that's something I don't really understand.
  • by webzombie ( 262030 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:34PM (#12626511)
    IBM ditched their PC business days before they announced the CELL chip was shipping and given the fact that IBM claims the CELL can multiple OSes simultaneously and has 10 or so cores my guess is all you would need to do would be to write virtualizing software for the CELL and then run anything you want on top of that.

    Because the CELLs got so much horsepower the user wouldn't notice a performance hit at all!

    The CELL if it proves as capable a some claim could very well be an INTEL and more importantly a WINTEL killer.

    I think APPLE isn't talking to INTEL about their chips but they are instead talking to IBM about the CELL.

  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:42PM (#12626595)
    Now wait, this is business as usual. Pick just about any processor (ARM,
    PowerPC, x86, MIPS, you name it) and you can download detailed specs, both for
    the programming model and the hardware details. Honestly, I can't think of a
    CPU that this hasn't been true for. Maybe with the general closedness
    of GPUs people are forgetting this.
  • by Wacky_Wookie ( 683151 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @04:25PM (#12627105) Homepage Journal
    I have an interesting sugestion for IBM:

    IBM should release a version of the Cell on a PCI or faster BUS card, or even some sort of crazy processer adapter thingy that one can buy so that Open source programers/users or other interested parties can start using the Cell right away.

    The [3D rendering/complex math/video encoding] crowd would love a $200 card that they could just plug in to speed up their rendering buy a factor of 10x.
  • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @05:04PM (#12627523) Homepage
    (1) Port GCC to it, optionally another much more optimized compiler that is compatible with gcc.
    (2) Give it to taiwanese motherboard makers to make microatx mobos on the cheap. Aim for $40 for lower speed ones and $100 for full speed Cells.
    (3) Put out all the specs of the Cell and any possible firmware sources online, and put them under the BSD license.
    (4) Provide licenses to other devleopers to make cheaper versions of the Cell.
    (5) Watch Linux and NetBSD grow on it. Watch cisco use it on their high-throughput routers and other manufacturers use it. Watch the app base grow.
    (6) Profit!

    Alternatively sit on it and let it rot like Palm is doing with BeOS.
  • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @05:14PM (#12627591) Homepage Journal

    I can't help but wonder if this is directly related to IBM's decision to sell their PC business to Lenovo. IBM has watched counless Linux geeks mod the XBox and install their OS of choice. If it were to take off like wildfire, this kind of modding would be potentially dangerous to the traditional OEM PC market, because it would mean that cheap (like $199) machines that can be made to run a powerful OS and do things like MythTV and the like could subvert the normal PC market. Sure, the market for modded Xboxen is small, and confined to hobbyists, but if the architecture were open and you didn't have to mod it, a lot more people would do it.

    Of course if you aren't an OEM, this looks much less terrifying. In fact, it starts looking more and more like an opportunity. So a company like IBM can sell its money-losing OEM business and get into the game system market with no worries about what happens to x86 if the new consoles start to hurt the PC.

    Maybe they weren't thinking "Let's get rid of this money-losing PC business." Maybe they were thinking "Let's kill x86 by building a cheaper PC market on another architecture, staring with a console, but expanding into other appliances. We'll open it up so that people get interested, Linux will be running on it in no time, new Linksys and Netgear routers will use it, and then on to other appliances we haven't even imagined yet. It'll find its way into PCs, and PCs will suddenly be as cheap as a console. Come to think of it, before we do any of this, let's schedule a meeting with Lenovo ... suckers."

  • by JaF893 ( 745419 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @05:33PM (#12627764) Journal
    Going to the open-source community makes sense, because....

    they will work for nothing!

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.