"Last summer, IBM set up Power,org, to promote its PowerPC chip as what it called 'open hardware.' This year, Sun launched the OpenSPARC.net open source project around the source code for its Niagera microprocessor. But what does "open" mean in the context of hardware? You have to pay to participate meaningfully in Power.org, as well as pay royalties to implement - it's built on a traditional RAND consortium model. To use the Sun code, though, its just download the code under an open source license, and you're good to go to use anything except the SPARC name. All of which leads to the questions: 'what does open mean in hardware, and which approach will work?"