Sun talks up OpenSPARC

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Sun talks up OpenSPARC

Open source processor initiative gets governance board.

Sun Microsystems has appointed a governance board for its OpenSPARC initiative.

The five-member board will serve for one year, and its primary tasks are to create a charter and elect permanent board members.

"The board will set policies on intellectual property and will resolve any potential conflicts, as well as set policies for communication and the sharing of knowledge," said Fadi Azhari, director of marketing and business development for OpenSPARC.

The formation of the board marks a new step towards the open sourcing of the design of Sun's UltraSPARC T1 chip, which will allow outside vendors to create designs for the chip that is aimed at compute intensive tasks such as web servers.

Simply RISC is the only vendor offering a chip based on the UltraSPARC T1, featuring a single-core version for use in handheld devices. Sun's design offers four processing cores. 

The board has three outside members: Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight64; Professor Jose Renau, from the University of California Santa Cruz; and Robert Ober, a fellow with LSI Logic.

The two remaining seats have been assigned to Simon Phipps, Sun's chief open source officer, and David Weaver, a Sun hardware engineer working on the SPARC platform.
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