Free Circuits Foundation
Posted Jul 27, 2012 2:48 UTC (Fri) by jzbiciak
(✭ supporter ✭
In reply to: Free Circuits Foundation
Parent article: GNU Linux-libre 3.5-gnu: Free and a half
Microcode is essentially a part of the design that's been moved from the fixed-in-transistor domain (much like an ASIC) to the programmable domain. The same source code (also likely in the same sort of HDL, although perhaps a custom HDL for the purpose) underlies both.
I meant to say "Loadable microcode" above. My point is, what is so magically freeing about baking microcode into ROM vs. allowing it to be overridden by a copy in RAM? The manufacturer sells you a hardware device that only they have the capacity to modify. Just, in one case you have to buy an entirely new chip to get an update, and in the other, they can send you a field update.
The line between hardware and software is often blurry, which is why terms like "firmware" exist.
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