[Discuss] Misuse of "Open Hardware" term?

Roy Nielsen amrset at gmail.com
Wed Feb 11 00:24:30 UTC 2015

It appears that different people have different understanding of the 
terms "open hardware".

Do they mean
"open schematics"
"open chip design"
"open firmware"
"open design" ?? (what does this mean?)

Can anyone think of others?

Maybe OSHWA can make some definitions, perhaps each with a logo that 
vendors could use to market their product?

OSHWA could have a certification program of some kind, perhaps with a 
database of vendors and their products, and a front end that could let 
people search for vendors and their parts?  Perhaps identified by a 
number similar to a MAC address? <XX:XX:XX>:<YY:YY:YY> where the X's are 
the company identifier and the Y's a device identifier?

OSHWA could bring together some heavy hitter companies and get them to 
back the system . . .


On 2/10/2015 4:13 PM, Drew Fustini wrote:
> Exciting news this week out of the LinaroConnect conference in Hong
> Kong about new low-cost ARM 64-bit dev board and the introduction of
> 96boards.org.  However, I am concerned that Linaro and 96boards are
> using "Open Hardware" to describe hardware for which only schematics
> are offered.  Here are examples:
> 1) Press Release states: "96Boards is an open hardware specification"
> https://www.linaro.org/news/linaro-announces-96boards-initiative-accelerate-arm-software-development/
> 2) 96Boards.org website displays in a big font on its homepage: "32-
> and 64-bit ARM Open Hardware Boards": https://www.96boards.org/
> 3) LinaroConnect Opening Keynote:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aAFNCUUVj4  (seek to 42:40)
> George Grey, Linaro CEO, explains that they have created an "Open
> hardware platform specification"
> I have only found schematics on the 96boards.org website, and it does
> not appear the PCB board layout or BOM are required to be released for
> the 96boards branded products.  The first real product, the 8-core ARM
> 64-bit HiKey by CircuitCo, offers only a schematic.  Social media
> conversations with Linaro engineers (who are awesome guys in their own
> right) reinforce this assessment:
> https://plus.google.com/u/0/+gregkroahhartman/posts/LkfitGPTU5h
> a) Do we as an Open Source Hardware Association care about the term
> "Open Hardware"?
> b) If so, do we feel that Linaro & 96boards is using the term "Open
> Hardware" incorrectly?  Is there a less ambiguous way to phrase "Open
> hardware platform specification"?
> thanks!
> drew
> http://keybase.io/pdp7
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