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Hardware goes open source

Open source software. But open source hardware? Sure, why not. Some very committed individuals have put together the principles of Open Source Hardware. Hardware elements such as processors have been open sourced in the past, like OpenSparc, but under OSHW's definition, entire machines could be open sourced.

OSHW entails opening up machines, devices, or "other physical things" to the public. The trademark or patents from such devices will be cut, opening it up for modification and distribution.

Some notable open-source hardware projects include FreeCores, which focuses on CPU cores, Open Hardware Foundation, which focuses on FPGAs, and Arduino, which focuses on microcontrollers. Bug Labs offers open-source hardware such as wireless devices, cameras, interactive screens and SD cards.

Lets hope like free OS, we have free hardware some day! But it's safe to assume that no one will manufacture free CPUs at low prices, as the chip makers need volume to justify the cost of manufacturing such devices.