Free Hardware

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Free Hardware, more commonly, Open/Open-Source Hardware refers to devices or components on which detailed schematics and/or other information are available to anyone who would desire to improve or change them. The term most often means that some of the information about the hardware is easily discerned so that others can make it - coupling it closely to the maker movement. Hardware design (i.e. mechanical drawings, schematics, bills of material, PCB layout data, HDL source code and integrated circuit layout data), in addition to the software that drives the hardware, are all released under free terms. The original sharer gains feedback and potentially improvements on the design from the Free/Open Source hardware community.

Notable Examples

  • Bug Labs – a handheld prototyping system based on the Texas Instruments OMAP3530 with ARM Cortex-A8 (600 MHz) and Angstrom Linux.
  • Ethernut – electronics prototyping platform for building tiny embedded Ethernet devices.
  • Arduino - micro-controller platform based on a simple I/O board and a development environment that implements the open source Processing / Wiring language.
  • Pinguino - Open-source hardware boards.
  • Beagle Board – a single-board computer based on low-power Texas Instruments processors, using the ARM Cortex-A8 core, running Angstrom Linux.
  • OpenSPARC is an open-source processor project to which Sun Micro systems have contributed the Ultra SPARC T1 and Ultra SPARC T2 multicore processor designs.
  • OpenRISC is a group of developers working to produce a very-high-performance open-source RISC CPU.
  • RISC-V from University of California, Berkeley.
  • Milkymist SoC contains an open-source Verilog HDL design of an embedded high-performance 2D texture mapping unit.
  • Tehnoetic wireless adapter for GNU/linux-libre (TET-N150), with the Atheros AR9271 chipset.[10]