Misunderstood Motivations

In the latest blog entry from one of our AESTE interns, he raised a couple of pertinent questions with regards to the very raison d’etre at AESTE. I thought that this might be an opportune time to address the issue.

First, I shall address a very commonly held misconception – “What use is the fastest multi-threaded 32-bits when others have already multi-core 64-bits”.

Global Microprocessor Market
Most people will probably think along the same lines except people who are in this industry who know that, the multi-core 64-bit market is a pretty small one. Microprocessors are used in a multitude of applications and markets from ovens, air-conditioners, cars through to smart-phones, medical devices, tablets, PCs and servers. Not everything is a multi-core cloud computing super-computer.

According to the EETimes, these high-end CPUs only account for less than 2% of the world’s microprocessor market. An even bigger shocker is that a very large bulk of the microprocessors sold (55% in 1997) are actually 8-bit microprocessors.

So, there is still plenty of room for the world’s smallest and fastest 32-bit microprocessor – as long as it can provide a compelling business case of 32-bit performance at an 8-bit price. Of course, there is a long road ahead of us to get there.

Which brings us to the second question – “Why would my supervisor pay thousands, every month, to develop open source projects just to let others to download for free”?

Open Source Business Model
Again, most people will probably think it crazy to spend money building something only to give it away for free, except people who are in the open-source business. I won’t go into all the murky details but let’s just say that the open-source business model is a well proven one.

According to Forbes, RedHat is set to hit US$ 1 billion in revenues this year (though I’m not sure how the current economic problems in the US might affect it). Not too bad for a company that spends millions developing its product and gives it away for free. Of course, RedHat is not the only successful open-source company, albeit the most successful one.

MySQL was sold off to SUN for US$ 1 billion in 2008. Google is set to conquer the smart-phone market with Android. Qumranet was acquired for US$ 100 million in 2008. The list goes on, with big and small companies in the mix.

At AESTE, we’ll just patiently wait and hope that our good work will one day be given due recognition. Business is not for the faint hearted nor those looking to make a quick buck. AESTE is in it for the long haul.

In the mean-time, we’ll continue to build cool stuff, from the depths of our hearts!

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