Questions about checking free hardware

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Wed Sep 16 10:20:18 UTC 2015

> When somebody would make a free processor,

There are free processors, today. They are written in HDL.

> would it be possible to do
> that in such a way that it's possible to check that the hardware is the
> working-out of the drawings?

There are no drawings involved, as far as I know. Any drawing is an
intermediate object file, thus not important in the overall design

> In software you can build your own binary and check the shasum, but
> in hardware this is not possible.

Also in software it is not possible, most of the time.  The build
often contains a timestamp, so your build won't match what you
received.  And if it is programmed in some media, likely you can't
even checksum the binary you receive (think embedded systems).

Anyways, I don't see the point of your question: the same applies to
physical object (3d-printed or otherwise manufactured): you get a free
design and an object that is said to be the same. You just don't know.

Actually, I'm interested in discussion about this case; the CPU one is
too theoretical to be interesting at this point in time.

Anyways, I take this chance to advertise the Open Risc Conference,
where a number of free processor are presented. It's held at CERN,
Switzerland, on Oct 10th and 11th.  See for details.


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