Subject: Re: NetBSD without MMU ?
To: None <,,>
From: Wes Peters <>
List: tech-ports
Date: 04/15/2002 20:37:43
"Greg A. Woods" wrote:
> [ On Friday, April 12, 2002 at 11:24:43 (-0700), Justin Wojdacki wrote: ]
> > Subject: Re: NetBSD without MMU ?
> >
> > As dumb as it may sound, there are cases where a couple of cents (US)
> > per chip can make a difference in whether or not a sale is made (note
> > that I'm talking about volumes in the 1e6's of chips).
> Even with millions of units sold will the additional engineering costs
> required to get a system complex enough to need something like a NetBSD
> kernel, and whatever application code will be used, running reliabily on
> an MMU-less system, not vastly outweigh the few cents per chip savings?

No, because they are one-time costs.

> (obvioulsy there's a break-even point after which the savings are real,
> but if we're talking about millions of units and pennies per unit, then
> that's not a trivial back of the envelope calculation!  ;-)

Correct, but in many engineering organizations one-time engineering
costs are not considered to be part of the cost of the product.  Yes,
it's completely amazing, but it's true.  The division of Philips I worked
for had a product that was about 10% hardware content and 90% software,
but they sold the hardware and gave away the software because software
had no "cost" associated with it.  The division had 4 hardware engineers
and 50 software engineers, but software was free.  Go figure.

Remember, it doesn't have to make sense as long as an MBA figured it up.

            "Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket?"

Wes Peters                                                         Softweyr LLC