Firmware/bios rights?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Poff, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Poff macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #1
    I´ve always been under the impression that Apple only has the rights for the name Mac, but then some guy told me they have the rights to the bios or firmware that makes the Mac a Mac.. Is this true, or just a load of crap? Would it be impossible for others than Apple to make an OS X computer?
     
  2. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #2
    Er, who has the rights? If I remember right, the ROM was licensed out in the early-mid 90's leading to the clones, which were quickly killed by Steve upon his return as Interim CEO.
     
  3. Poff thread starter macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #3
    Oki, so then it is actually illegal to make OS X machines for others than Apple.. Learning new things every day.. :)
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    The actual EEPROM-based ROM firmware was based on the Open Firmware model, which got rid of the huge Apple owned burned ROMs and replaced them with HD-based ROM files.

    The current versions of firmware run the cooling system during crashes, and bootstrap the boot process just enough to load the ROM file (and/or boot app), and continue the boot process.

    ---

    Apple isn't the only Open Firmware PowerPC, quite a few companies continued to develop the Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) -- now called the PowerPC Platform.

    Amiga, IBM, Pegasos, and Mai Logic are the big names offering the PowerPC Platform -- though IBMs CHRP offering stagnated with a quad 604e offering and will likely be replaced by a PPC970 quite soon.
     
  5. Poff thread starter macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #5
    I know others are using the power-PC platform, but would it be possible/legal for them to make an OS X machine?
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    Nope, Apple OSs are only licensed to run on Apple-branded hardware.

    Run it on an non-Apple machine and you are using unlicensed software.

    Doesn't mean it won't run, since quite a few PowerPC machines include Mac-on-Linux -- just that you can't run the software legally (or sell the machine as a cheap PowerMac alternative.)

    Of course until the last couple quarters the PowerPC Platform machines were behind the Mac platform. Now their non-Apple G4 chipsets have caught up and passed Apple's chipsets.

    And the PowerPC970 chipsets have already been announced that include capabilities beyond the IBM/Apple supplied chipsets.

    So Apple does have competition for PPC machines for the first time since the clone fiasco.
     

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