[Discuss] Example of why Open Source Hardware matters

Drew Fustini pdp7pdp7 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 7 00:29:51 UTC 2015

I think this new BeagleBoard.org post by Jason Kridner provides good
example of why Open Source Hardware matters:

"Open hardware derivatives like the Ninja Spheramid and BBP
(BeagleBone 3D Printer) are just the start of new Bone-related designs
popping up this year. This is possible due to the open hardware nature
of the Bones and use of the Sitara devices that are available for
nearly anyone to buy."

I've had several discussions this week in which someone argued that
OSHW doesn't matter for these higher end boards with expensive
(compared to microcontroller) BGA SoC (system-on-chip) processors.
Their argument was that anyone serious about making a derivative would
need to sink considerable money ($30k+), so they can handle the time
and expense of creating board layout from scratch.

They also argued that a serious person/company would be buying in
large enough quantity to order from the manufacturer.  In this case,
it didn't mater if the SoC wasn't available in distribution such as
the Broadcom SoC in the RPi.

I'm happy that Jason provided examples in post.  I was having trouble
thinking of derivatives of OSHW boards with "high-end" SoC processors
(e.g. ARM Cortex A series, not microcontrollers like ARM Cortex M

Anyone know of others?


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