Back in October of 2014, I was lucky enough to be elected to the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) board. Because the association received its nonprofit status, the board is finally able to begin increasing its reach in the community. Many new initiatives are being discussed, and we've been collecting a lot of community input on what is needed in the open source hardware world. One of the main objectives the board has in mind for the next year is to continue building up the community interaction and awareness of the association.
Takashi Iwai sent in his sound driver updates for Linux 4.1, which includes major modernization with the standard bus for ALSA in the sequencer core and HD-audio code.
This sound/audio updates also include the HD-audio code now supporting regmap to replace their in-house register cache code, a split of HD-audio into a core library and "legacy" driver portions, in preparation for the upcoming ASoC HD-audio driver.
OSMC is the successor of Raspbmc and Crystalbuntu, created and maintained by Sam Nazarko. It is licensed under the GNU GPL v2 license. It aims to be simple and easy to use, with no knowledge of Linux needed. This is because the system is managed through the OSMC interface. If you want to experiment, there are the complete Debian repositories available containing more than 30,000 packages.
While Allwinner has been caught violating the (L)GPL and resulted in obfuscating their code and playing around with their advertised licenses, now this ARM vendor is taking things a step further.
First, we must understand why we can’t make hardware free the same way we make software free. Hardware and software are fundamentally different. A program, even in compiled executable form, is a collection of data which can be interpreted as instruction for a computer. Like any other digital work, it can be copied and changed using a computer. A copy of a program has no inherent physical form or embodiment.
The original founders of Arduino—the popular programmable DIY electronics kit—appear to have had a falling out. And that might bring about what could be the world’s first open-source hardware fork, a sort of developer schism that's much more common in the software world.
At the moment, two different websites display the Arduino logo and branding. There’s Arduino.cc, Arduino’s original site. Now there’s also Arduino.org, which prominently displays the text “the adventure continues,” as if it has been passed the torch.
Imagination Technologies is a British company that has recently entered full production of a board based on MIPS computer architecture. The single-board computer has been designed to allow developers to create applications for mobiles, gaming, Internet of Things, and wearables.
The MIPS Creator CI20 is billed as a high-performance, fully featured Linux and Android development platform. The board includes an Ingenic JZ4780 SoC which is built around a dual-core MIPS32 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, and Imagination's PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Creator CI20 comes with a price tag of or £50, which is significantly more expensive than the Raspberry Pi 2. CI20 is an open platform with technical manuals, schematics and source code freely downloadable. You might be interested in my Raspberry Pi 2 review together with this article.
Dimitri John Ledkov of Intel has added support to the Ubuntu-Drivers-Common framework for having CPU family detection and being able to install the appropriate CPU microcode update packages depending on the reported processor family. It's basically just making sure the right CPU microcode packages are installed rather than having them not installed or having all of them in place.