“Open source is eating everything, including hardware,” declared Joseph Jacks, founder and general partner at OSS Capital in a panel discussion at the Smart Home Summit, referencing billionaire VC Marc Andreessen’s oft-cited line that software is eating the world.
Several recent news items highlight that point. IBM has agreed to buy the Linux distributor Red Hat for $33.4 billion. Microsoft recently completed its acquisition of GitHub for $7.5 billion while also agreeing to make 60,000 of its patents open source to avoid Linux-based lawsuits. In the IoT landscape, Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry is an important player for edge-computing software while open source hardware consortium RISC-V is sparking collaboration for processors. RISC-V “changing the game for IoT processors,” as a headline in Embedded Computing Design put it.