The dominance of China and the United States (USA) in terms of technology has been for many years to know globally that these countries are producers and dominant in terms of creation, research, production and distribution of technological products such as hardware and computer software, also having almost a 95% market share between both countries.
But what is the underlying reason for this domination? Well, the legal framework with which they cover the technologies they produce, creating restrictive licenses and patents that prevent the re-manufacturing of the technology, research on it or improvement, since For this, royalties and permits must be paid for it or just to buy technological products, high prices must be paid, and these being like a black box that if you open it you commit a crime, for the simple fact of wanting to learn from the manufactured technology in these countries, or simply repair the technological product created in the factories of companies in these countries of these superpowers already mentioned.
For this reason, the group of countries of the European Union, through a series of agreements and key decisions regarding technology, want to free themselves from the technological control exercised by the 2 superpowers of the present day, the US and China, and creating a legal framework that regulates the use of technology that comes from them.
For this reason, the old continent has chosen to trust and support the design of processors under open source architectures that will boost both its technological independence and its levels of competitiveness and innovation.
Not only this, but also supporting different hardware manufacturers that implement free or open source technologies, due to this in Europe many niches of technological development have been created, as is happening in Switzerland, Spain, Germany and other countries that make up the European Union.
The European Union has also taken measures such as even stopping the use of products from technology companies such as ARM, which has already twice said goodbye to the European Union (EU), the technological giant ARM. The first was in July 2016, when the company was acquired by the Japanese group SoftBank. And the second, after Brexit on January 31. Dedicated to the design of architectures for processors, ARM boasts a 33% share in a global market that between 2018 and 2024 will grow at an annual rate of 7.3% to reach 5.7 billion dollars, according to Allied Market Research. A whole leak in the community income tap that also poses new strategic challenges. Not surprisingly, the absence of its own benchmark technology in terms of processors accentuates the EU’s dependence on other markets, which includes the possibility of blockades or restrictions due to protectionist measures.
As an alternative, the European Union is obtaining for Free Hardware, betting hard on the creation of different electronic components, including the custom manufacturing of chips from open source architectures that are available to the public and technology enthusiasts to produce new technological solutions.
For now, at the beginning of the year the European Commission awarded OpenForum Europe and Fraunhofer ISI the preparation of a report to quantify the impact of open source software and hardware on the technological independence, competitiveness and innovation of the EU.
Andrew Katz, the expert who leads the open hardware section of this research, does not hide his satisfaction in a statement: “This is the first time that open hardware has been mentioned in a study of this size, which shows that it is reaching the coming of age and that it may be crucial for the European economy for the next decade”.
The idea is to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of open source in matters relevant to technological development in the EU, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), the digitization of the industry, the connected car, super computing, big data and blockchain.
Paradoxically, the solution that he seeks in the European Union can be found in a project started in 2010 in the United States, at the University of California, Berkeley. This is RISC-V (pronounced risc-five) a set of instructions for open source hardware architectures. “The new processors based on RISC-V represent very important changes in the market for microprocessor cores and chips, as well as in systems and integrated circuits based on such cores”, comments Lluís Terés, CSIC researcher at the IMB-CNM ( Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics – National Microelectronics Center).
Now any company or research group will be able to custom design their RISC-V processor without having to pay royalties for use licenses and, in the event that they do not want to have their own chip, they will have at their disposal a much wider market and not captive of one or a few brands. “There will be more suppliers, greater diversity and, consequently, more competition and prices adjusted to the quality of supply and demand,” explains Terés.
It is expected that in the coming years EUROPE will be the spearhead in terms of technological independence, but without doing it in a selfish way or as an instrument of domination, but rather as an instrument of liberation and so that Humanity can make great achievements thanks to freedom, knowledge, free software and free hardware.
While at present, in the old continent, great advances and discoveries are being made in terms of hardware and software technologies, showing a very, very good future, not only in terms of technological independence, but also in projects and non-profit organizations. Profit generated by technology.
It should be noted that currently existing technology allows a person to generate new technology or manufacture it thanks to tools and materials that allow this and from the comfort of their own homes.