On another note, as a hobbyist, there is nothing I will love more than Open hardware.
What I'm more concerned about is the quality standards of Open Hardware. Take the huge amounts of open Arduino firmware examples, great to get started with but far from production worthy. Open Hardware will probably start off being high quality but as people(good intentioned, no doubt) begin chipping in their 2 cents, we may end up at the point of no return. Solid engineering and great ideas generally don't go hand in hand.
Also, is anyone else bothered that the term Open Hardware is being a little overused? Kind of becoming the same as IoT...
"One that's easy to take apart and service." Amen to that! A few months ago I had to replace the failing hard drive on my daughter's laptop. The hard drive was mounted on the underside of the motherboard, but with no access panel in the case. The only way to get to it was to completely dissasemble the entire laptop so that the motherboard could be removed and flipped over to get to the drive.
Clearly the manufacturer never intended for the hard drive to be replaced when it failed, even though that is one of the most likely components to fail on a laptop.
I love the wood laptop but I would have gone with Hickory over oak. Teak and Mahogany are also great options that would kill in the Marine market. Oak is for bedroom furniture.
Seriously though, months ago, after I read in EE Times the 900th article on the slowing of Moore's Law it finally hit me that it would necessarily spark innovation. And that maybe Electrical Hardware Engineering would see a resurgence since its decline, caused by "Intel Inside".
So thanks Bennie Huang, for providing a little inspiration and for making clear a thought I had not quite been able to convey.
I don't see it. The arduino has been released many years ago, but still there are'nt no high volume open source hardware products. And even given the fact that android is fully open source , we don't have a sucsessful open source phone - which would be highly valuable from a privacy standpoint.
My guess is that there's something critical missing to make open hardware a sucsess, but nobody knows what it is.
I bumped into Bunnie while registering and we talked for a few minutes.
I now see how his community design model based on software using open hardware could spawn many small projects of a few hundfed systems sold here and there that slowly forms a competitive swarm against with the multi-million-unit giants.
This dynamic is just getting started. Bunnie's hope to sell a couple hundred of his systems is no threat to HP or Dell. But you can see how perhaps 5-10 years from now this approach could get some commercial traction.
It seems to me that the slowing of Moore's Law will cause a rise in innovation within the chip. Gates will no longer be 'free', so the chip designers are going to learn to be more efficient. This idea of an 'open computer' does not seem to address this. Back in the early '80s we were able to play with our computer hardware because we were dealing with chips that had 4 NAND gates or two flip/flops on them. CPUs could only address 64K of memory, so we had to write assembly code to do anything real useful. Now with many millions of NAND gates in a silicon chip, we can't possibly tweak them. With signaling in the GHz, we certainly can't wire-wrap our own changes.
Is the thought here that we would have a universal pin-out so that anybody's chip can plug into it? That might be interesting. Is everything going to be in programmable logic? I don't think so, since custom silicon will always have lower power and higher density.
I suspect that Bunnie Huang's ideas are much more clever than what was conveyed in this article.
One that's easy to take apart and service, even if it's just o clean. Case-in-point: Today, I was greeted with Fan error on startup. that means the inside of my laptop is dirty and should be cleaned. Opening a laptop is not so bad, but getting it back together? Well, never mind.
I did get the laptop to work by tapping on the case and blowing into the vent.
Will it work tomorrow? Stay tuned.
The laptop belongs to my employer so it's IT's problem. If it were my laptop, I'd try opening it, tkaing lots of pictures along the way.