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Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] GPL and “All rights reserved”

From: Ineiev
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] GPL and “All rights reserved”
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2013 18:29:00 +0000

On 06/02/2013 04:36 PM, James Cloos wrote:
    Out of curiosity: I wonder whether anything that depends
    on FPGA may qualify as free software system.

KB> If the programmed chips, or instructions for the programming,
KB> are available, why not?  I'm sure I don't get it ...

Most (all?) FPGA chips have undisclosed bitstream formats.  One
typically (always?) has to use closed-source-ware for the final
stage of compilation.  I presume that is what he referred to.

Yes, this is what I mean. I believe I've heard about a programmable
logic chip family (I'm not sure whether they were FPGA or PLD) whose
bitstream specificatons are not secret, but I don't recall ever
hearing of a full free software toolchain for FPGA
(not that I'm following news about it very closely, though)..
and then I imagined: if it is FPGA-based mining, then it is its
programmable logic that does most of the work.

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