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Openmoko hits the wall

Openmoko hits the wall

Posted Apr 10, 2009 0:19 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
Parent article: Openmoko hits the wall

He suggested that the company has been slow to realize that "you can't compile hardware" — by which he apparently meant that fixing errors in hardware is much more expensive and time-consuming than debugging software

I get tired of people drawing false distinctions between hardware and software. Most of the time, they're really talking about some other distinction.

In this case, debugging software is not the analog to fixing errors in hardware. Hardly anybody fixes errors in hardware because it is too hard. The analog to debugging a program is debugging the hardware design, which is software. It varies a lot depending on the kind of hardware, but there's usually something very like program compilation involved.

I think Moss-Pultz's observation was really meant to be that you can't load hardware. The essential difference between hardware and software is that you can create a usable instance of software by moving information whereas to create a usable instance of hardware, you have to move matter. Moving matter is much more expensive.

So to debug your compiled hardware design, you eventually have to fabricate something.


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