Here's some of the reasons that Corbet argues open souce hardware "would certainly offer some benefits, but it would be no panacea."
- "While compilers can be had for free, the same is not true of chip fabrication facilities, especially the expensive fabs needed to create high-end processors... It will never be as easy or as cheap as typing 'make'..."
- "Without some way of verifying underlying design of an actual piece of hardware, we'll never really know if a given chip implements the design that we're told it does..."
- "Even if RISC-V becomes successful in the marketplace, chances are good that the processors we can actually buy will not come with freely licensed designs..."
- "Finally, even if we end up with entirely open processors, that will not bring an end to vulnerabilities at that level. We have a free kernel, but the kernel vulnerabilities come just the same. Open hardware may give us more confidence in the long term that we can retain control of our systems, but it is certainly not a magic wand that will wave our problems away."
"None of this should prevent us from trying to bring more openness and freedom to the design of our hardware, though. Once upon a time, creating a free operating system seemed like an insurmountably difficult task, but we have done it, multiple times over. Moving away from proprietary hardware designs may be one of our best chances for keeping our freedom; it would be foolish not to try."