History of the Open Hardware Initiative(開放硬體歷史)Vision(未來展望) and Mission(主要使命)

Juergen Neumann and Xavier Carcelle present the Open Hardware Initiative at the  Open Tech Summit in Taiwan 2008. Focus is the history of the Open Hardware Initiative(開放硬體歷史)、the vision(未來展望) and mission(主要使命).

Google Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5178162784628658442

Open Hardware: Interview with Jürgen Neumann and Marek Lindner

Jürgen Neumann, one of the initiators of freifunk.net, and Marek Lindner, openmoko developer and B.A.T.M.A.N. programmer, speak about the Open Hardware Initiative event Open Tech Summit in Taiwan.

Spiegel.de: Open Hardware und freie Infrastrukturen – Unser Ziel

Juergen Neumann hat Elisabeth Rank vom Spiegel ein Interview  ueber die OpenTech-Konferenz in Taiwan vor zwei Wochen gegeben. Daraus ist ein Artikel entstanden, den ihr jetzt auf Spiegel Online lesen koennt "Freie Hardware, Die Zukunftsbastler".

In Taiwans De-facto-Hauptstadt Taipeh traf sich in der letzten
Aprilwoche ein Kreis von rund hundert freien Entwicklern, viele davon
Studenten, und bastelten gemeinsam an einer alternativen
Technikzukunft. Unterstützt von Asus und zwei Universitäten kamen dort
eben nicht IBM und Intel oder HP und Microsoft zusammen, sondern
Vertreter der KDE-Entwickler (Linux-Benutzeroberfläche), von Open
Pattern, der Berliner Initiative Freifunk, dem freien
Geo-Informationssystem Open Streetmap oder der freien Mobilplattform
OpenMoko. Die Idee zur Veranstaltung hatten Jürgen Neumann von Freifunk und
Joy Tang von der One Village Foundation vor zwei Jahren bei einem
Treffen der Open Hardware Initiative im indischen Dharamsala
entwickelt. Letztes Jahr im Sommer wurde die Konferenz konkret
beschlossen. Asus übernahm einen großen Teil der Finanzierung,
Organisation und Logistik. Der Rest wurde von den Teilnehmern
finanziert. (Die Zukunftsbastler, 8.5.2008, Elisabeth Rank, http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/tech/0,1518,551818,00.html)

Wireless OpenHardware

Hi all,

at the fantastic WSFII meeting during SAX at guifi.net in Spain we started to specify two wireless hardware devices. There were people from various free wireless network communites from Europe and the US. We had a three hour workshop and tried to define our wish list for cheap free open source software compatible open wireless hardware. Now we are trying to find the manufacturers who is willing to build those devices.

If you have any contacts that could help, please talk to them and show them our results. The company should best sell those products direct to the communites over webshop and only ship the bulk boards in charges of 20,50,100 or more. We think, that’s the best way to make them as cheep as possible.

There are quite a lot of people willing to help in e.g. software/driver-development or hardware-design. I am very positive that sooner or later some manufacturer is going to see their chance in our global movement!



1. Simple Node
– single wireless a/b/g radio device with support for virtual access points
– single Ethernet port with high tolerance PoE support (4-30V)
– power system must resist reverse polarity
– 4 Mbyte Flash
– 16 Mbyte RAM
– 200 MHz CPU
– serial port
– JTAG interface
– one Antenna plug (reverse SMC) and no explicit need for diversity
– for outdoor usage (which is regarded to be a standard scenario) the
board does not need a box and does not need to be shipped with antenna
and power supply
– power consumption should be as little as possible (solar systems!)

Comment: Finding the consensus on the design for the simple node was
quite easy and did not take very long. It seams that the needs and
wishes of the different groups represented by the attendees are very

2. Super Node
– two embedded wireless a/b/g radio devices with support for virtual
access points
– two Ethernet ports with standard 802.3af PoE support
– power system must resist reverse polarity
– 8 Mbyte Flash
– 32 Mbyte RAM
– 500 MHz CPU
– two USB 2.0 ports
– two miniPCI slots (both stackable up to 8 cards)
– serial port
– JTAG interface
– two Antenna plugs (reverse SMC) and no explicit need for diversity
– for outdoor usage (which is regarded to be a standard scenario) the
board does not need a box and does not need to be shipped with antennas
and power supply
– power consumption should be as little as possible (solar systems!)

Comment: Finding a compromise on the super node really was a hard time,
because there can be different ways to achieve the same goals. For
example, if wireless USB devices had a better FOSS support, many of the
super nodes could just easily be built without the need for miniPCI.
Also super nodes can be built with simple wireless bridges connected
over ethernet (high power consumption?). But anyway, after many looong
discussions the group had a consensus on the points listed above.

3. wireless USB devices
As already mentioned, super nodes could well be build using wireless USB
devices instead of mini PCI cards (less expensive cabling, less
interference between the devices). But to be able to use them, people
need FOSS drivers for them, which support all wireless modes (managed,
ad-hoc, AccessPoint), and the USB devices should have a reverse SMC
antenna connector.