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Complex needs of comms and cloud infra drive open source activity

Only a few years ago, open source activity in telecoms networks was associated firmly with software. The idea of open source hardware, let alone chips, for equipment as specialized and demanding as a mobile RAN or core, seemed unrealistic for mass market commercial adoption. There was ‘open’ of course – a common design, like ARM’s or MIPS’ processor cores, which could be licensed by anyone, by contrast with Intel’s rarely-shared x86. But now, emerging network hardware platforms, including white boxes, lend themselves to an extension of that openness, reaching even into full open source communities. Mike Dolan, VP of strategic programs at the Linux Foundation, commented on the change in a recent interview, saying: “The same collaboration model applies to…

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