The 2021 Open Hardware summit will be held online again, Friday April 9, 2021. Just like this year, the summit will be livestreamed, but ticket holders will have access to additional interactive portions of the summit like meet-and-greets, workshops, and sponsor booths.
Some preliminary results from the European Commission’s study on the impact of Open Source Software and Hardware are now available. This study is examining the impact of open source on Europe’s economy, and will influence future policy decisions. You can find an overview here, or click here for the full report.
Welcome to the following 2020-2022 board members! Congrats to Michael Weinberg, Oluwatobi Oyinlola, Javier Serrano, Drew Fustini, and Shah Selbe. Thank you to all OSHWA members who voted, your vote is important – we had quorum! Here are the results:
How do we run our elections?
All OSHWA board candidates have to self-nominate to be eligible for election. Self-nomination demonstrates that the candidate has a personal commitment to serving on the OSHWA board. The candidates outline their motivation and qualifications so voters can make informed decisions.
OSHWA board members are elected for two year terms. Terms are staggered so that only a portion of the OSHWA board terms expire in any given year in order to maintain continuity within the board. Elections are held each year for the portion of the board seats that are open in that year. This year, that was five board seats.
We announce the start of the board nomination process on the front of the OSHWA website and on the OSHWA twitter account (@ohsummit). These platforms reach beyond just existing OSHWA members to the broader OSHW community.
In addition to the general announcement, we directly reach out to potential candidates with diverse backgrounds, suggesting they nominate themselves.
Once the nominations are closed, OSHWA members vote to elect new board members. Voting is limited to OSHWA members as per the rules that govern OSHWA’s non-profit incorporation. We use online voting for board elections. Our bylaws require that at least 10% of our membership vote in order to have quorum to validate the election.
Thank you again to all of the nominees, OSHWA members, and the larger open source hardware community for its support and engagement with this year’s board nominations and elections!
Today we are excited to announce the launch of a read/write API for our Open Source Hardware Certification program. This API will make it easier to apply for certification directly from where you already document your hardware, as well as empower research, visualizations, and explorations of currently certified hardware.
OSHWA’s Open Source Hardware Certification program has long been an easy way for creators and users alike to identify hardware that complies with the community definition of open source hardware. Since its creation in 2016, this free program has certified hardware from over 45 countries on every continent except Antarctica. Whenever you see the certification logo on hardware:
You know that it complies with the definition and that the documentation can be found using its unique identifier (UID).
The new API supports both read and write access to the certification process.
Write access means that you can submit certification applications directly instead of using the application form. If you already have all of the application information in a system, there is no need to retype them into a webform.
We hope that this will make it easier for entities that certify large amounts of hardware to build the certification process directly into their standard workflow. We are also working with popular platforms to integrate a ‘certify’ button directly into their systems.
Read access gives you access to information about hardware that has already been certified. This will make it easier to explore the data for research, create compelling visualizations of certified hardware, and build customized lenses to understand what is happening in open source hardware.
What Happens Now?
The first thing you can do is get a key and start exploring the API itself. The team at Objectively has created detailed documentation, code snippets, and sandboxes that make it easy to test out all of the features.
In the longer term, we hope that the community will build better ways to both submit applications for certification and present information about certified hardware. OSHWA expects to maintain our application form and certification list for the foreseeable future. That being said, we are also happy to share (and possibly cede) the stage to better ways to get information into and out of the system as they come along.
For now, let us know what you do with the API! You can tweet to us @OHSummit or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today OSHWA, in collaboration with the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law, is thrilled to release the 2020 Open Source Hardware Weather Report. The report is a snapshot of the open source hardware community as it exists in 2020, ten years after the first Open Hardware Summit. It helps existing members of the open source hardware community take stock of where it is, and new members of the community understand the state of affairs today.
The open source hardware community has grown tremendously in the past decade. That growth is a testament to the viability of the idea of open source hardware. It can also create challenges when the community wants to talk to itself – let alone create welcoming pathways for new community members.
The 2020 report allows the open source hardware world to collectively identify what is working, share insights, and rally around shared challenges. It distills lessons learned and describes the collective understanding of the state of open source hardware. The report provides guidelines for how open source hardware can be a viable approach to hardware development, as well as identifies situations where open source hardware may not be the strongest approach. It also examines challenges that remain unresolved in 2020, along with opportunities for open source hardware in the future.
Like any weather report, this document is a snapshot of a moment in time. It was originally intended to flow from an in-person workshop held in connection with the tenth anniversary Open Hardware Summit at the Engelberg Center. When the Summit went virtual, that workshop transformed into a series of interviews with a cross section of the open source hardware community.
Common themes, concerns, and challenges emerged during those discussions. The report provides an opportunity to summarize, distill, and universalize those insights. It makes it easier for the community to understand what is working in most places, and what challenges still demand our collective attention.
While this report is distilled from community input, it will also benefit from additional thoughts, concerns, and observations. That is why, in addition to the ‘stable release’ version captured in the PDF, we have also uploaded it to a github wiki. That is where we invite comments from the community, both on the substance of the report and on the form of the report itself. Let us know if a snapshot report is useful to you, and what we can do to make it more useful in the future.
Finally, thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute to this report. Some – but certainly not all – of them are listed in the acknowledgement section of the report. We also welcome outreach from other members of the community who did not participate this year, especially if they might be interested in participating in a future report.
In 2020 we conducted the third OSHW Community Survey (see 2012 and 2013), which collected 441 responses. All questions were optional, so you may notice response counts do not always add up to 441. In particular, a number of individuals didn’t feel comfortable with the demographic questions. We ask these questions as part of our efforts to promote diversity in the community, but these too were optional and anonymous.
A few highlights from this year’s survey compared to the 2013 survey:
- The portion of people coming to open source hardware from open source software increased from 14.6% to 23.9%
- In 2013, 42.8% of respondents indicated they have worked on or contributed to an open hardware project. This jumped to 85.6% in 2020.
- While 2013 showed a plurality of people using blogs to publish design files, this year’s survey shows public repositories as the most popular option. The increase in people with open source software experience and improvement in repository collaboration offerings may be contributing factors.
- This year’s survey shows a large increase in attendees for the 2020 Open Hardware Summit. This is likely due to 2020 being the first virtual summit. Although it was moved online due to unfortunate circumstances, the virtual platform offered the upside of greatly expanding the audience.
- A small gain in the community’s gender diversity was seen, with those identifying as either female or other making up 18% of respondents, compared to 7% in 2013.
Interested in more granular results for any of these questions? Reach out to us at email@example.com.
How did you first get involved with open source hardware?
Have you ever used open source hardware products?
How do you use open source hardware products?
For the open source hardware products that you use, how important were each of the following criteria in your decision to use and open source hardware product?
For situations in which you’d like to use an open source hardware product but currently use a proprietary one instead, how important are each of the following factors in preventing you from using an open source product?
Have you ever used others’ open source hardware designs to…
Have you ever worked on or contributed to an open source hardware project or design?
What year did you first begin working on or contributing to open-source hardware projects or designs?
On average, how many hours per week do you spend working on or contributing to open-source hardware projects or designs?
Why do you work on or contribute to hardware projects and/or designs?
For hardware projects or designs which you decided to open-source, how important were each of the following criteria in the decision?
Have you ever…?
Tell us more about how you publish and document your open source hardware. Have you…?
What licenses have you used to release hardware files?
Do you use the Open Gear Logo on your hardware?
If you use the Open Gear Logo on your hardware, why do you use it?
Do you know about the OSHWA open source hardware certification program?
Have you ever used the open source hardware certification program?
Why did you use the open source hardware certification program?
Why haven’t you used the open source hardware certification program?
Does any of your income come from open-source hardware?
How much of your income does your work on open-source hardware represent?
In 2019 what was your total personal income resulting from work on open source hardware?
Does your open source hardware related income come from…
Did you attend the Open Hardware Summit in…
Regarding your work with hardware, do you consider yourself a…
Are you a member of a hackerspace/makerspace?
How old are you?
Do you identify as:
Do you consider yourself to be:
What is the highest level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received?
What’s your primary work status?
The Open Hardware community is made up of many creative individuals coming from diverse backgrounds. Which fields would you consider your areas of experience?
Become an OSHWA member today to vote on nominees!
This year, we have 5 open seats on the OSHWA board. Board members will hold a 2-year position. Once board members have been chosen by the community, the board will appoint a President, VP, and Secretary. As every nominee answered “Yes” to having 5-10 hours a month to give to the board, we did not include that question in each nominee’s data. Board responsibilities include fundraising, advising on goals and direction, and carrying out compliance of the organization’s purposes and bylaws.
The vote will be open on Oct. 19th-23rd. Members will be emailed a link to vote. Here are the nominees in no particular order:
Why do you want to be on the board? I would like to be on the board to continue building out OSHWA as an organization. I am excited about how far we have come with the open source hardware certification program and believe that it can become an effective way to identify open source hardware in a wide range of fields. I also think that OSHWA as an organization can continue to act as a place for the open source hardware community to speak with itself, and as an entry point into the community for new members.
What qualifies you to be a board member? I have been on the OSHWA board for a number of years already, and served as the board chair for a number of those. I helped launch the OSHWA open source hardware certification program and continue to help oversee it. I am enthusiastic about the role that open source hardware can play in the world, and love being part of an organization that can bring such a wide ranging community together.
Why do you want to be on the board? Open Source Hardware Association will give me a bigger platform to contribute to the community at large with the influence of evangelizing more people through speaking, engagement, and collaborations. I want the entire hardware community to also enjoy my experience as an advisory board member of the Intel innovator program.
I also think the African region is not heavily represented in the association, with the great influence of becoming a board member I will impact the sensitization in my region to bring more people both corporate and individual members to join, give them a platform to certify their hardware designs. I am talking about thousands of hardware developers in the community.
What qualifies you to be a board member? Over the past 10 years, I have been educationally, professionally, and generally proven for my skills.
I was part of the open-source hyperloop team (rLoop), I contributed as an embedded system engineer, I was selected as intel software innovator and later became an Intel Board member for the innovator program, I have organized over 50 meetups in Nigeria. Just recently I was part of the dream team awardee at the Hackaday 2020 competition. In 2018 and 2019, I was nominated as one of the most influential young Nigeria for the technology aspect of the award.
I hope to provide more support to the community using the OSHWA platform and reach more people in the hardware community.
Why do you want to be on the board? As a returning student who will be actively participating in research pertaining to the development of technologies relating to clean energy, information processing, and the like, it is important to find opportunities to build bridges between academia and Open Source initiatives. OSHWA is a pivotal organization in helping to direct hobbyists and other interested parties toward the Open Source ethos as well as setting up a collaborative, community-driven framework for future development.
What qualifies you to be a board member? I am an information technology professional with ten years experience under my belt. I have recently returned to school in order to pursue a second undergraduate degree with the intention of proceeding into a research-oriented career. The Open Source ecosystem must find ways to firmly establish itself within academia so that educators, students, and researchers can be uplifted by more accessible tools. I intend to utilize a position within OSHWA for the benefit of higher education in order to mitigate costs for both schools and students while also providing avenues for an improvement in the quality of education overall.
Why do you want to be on the board?
– Help introduce new programs to enable developers around the world adopt, promote and leverage open hardware ideologies and contribute back to the community.
– Help create programs / events / content to spread OSHWA awareness and ease of certifying your hardware project in OSHWA.
– Bring in challenges to the board in their mission from a perspective of third world country like India and help spread the overall FOSS ideology in such countries where not much exposure is available around this subject.
What qualifies you to be a board member? I am an active member of FOSS communities in India and have managed multiple events and programs as organiser, volunteer and member in big FOSS communities like India Linux User Group- Delhi. I’m also founder of Hardware Hackers Club- Delhi and KnifEDGE RC aeromodelling club which gives me first hand experience with open source communities, what motivates people contribute and what they look for when open sourcing their work which will enable me to put views forward when the board will launch a new program or modify an existing one .
I’ve also created many and certified some of my own open hardware projects and motivated others in my local community to do the same by giving talks and workshops.
Since covid I helped organise atleast one virtual meetup locally without any miss which gave me a good exposure of virtual new normal technical meetups m programs .
Apart from this I am an Automotive Embedded software engineer at Siemens PLM and use FOSS tools almost daily in my work.
I also create content around DiY, Open source on my blog https://codeNsolder.com and Youtube channel – https://youtube.com/iayanpahwa , magazines like Open Source for You, Electronics for you, and blogs on Hackaday and Instructables which has put me in position to influence the next generation of community members for good and promote open culture .
Why do you want to be on the board? I have been a member of OSHWA for many years, and I have been vocal in a number of areas, such as the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for hardware design and the need to convince public institutions of the special role they can play in OSHW. I believe I am now ready to take the next logical step, namely to offer some of my time to help with these and other endeavours. I hope I can use my experience and my energy to make OSHWA stronger and more relevant. As OSHW becomes mainstream in more and more domains, the coming years will be full of challenges and opportunities. OSHWA is ideally positioned to provide a framework, channeling all this momentum and guaranteeing that the sharing of hardware designs is done right.
What qualifies you to be a board member? I lead a team of developers in the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN). We do PCBs, gateware (FPGA/HDL), firmware and software (mostly Linux device drivers and libraries) for controls and data acquisition in particle accelerators. Since 2006, I gave myself the goal to provide a working experience for HW developers in the section similar to that of their SW colleagues, in terms of their ability to share with and learn from others, work with companies without the risk of vendor lock-in and easily bring in help from outside the laboratory. This took me on a long journey which included co-authoring the CERN Open Hardware Licence , creating the Open Hardware Repository , discussing business models with companies and managing CERN’s contribution to KiCad development . I have also written about various subjects, including the reasons I believe public institutions are an ideal vehicle to boost OHSW . My advocacy work has taken me to present in many venues, including the last (online) OH Summit . My interests in FPGA/HDL and science have also brought me in close contact with related communities such as the FOSSi Foundation  and GOSH , and I would like to establish bridges between them and OSHWA to collaborate on subjects of common interest. At work, I am the initiator and leader of the White Rabbit project , which has been portrayed as an example of synergistic relationship between open source and standardisation bodies . I am also very interested in seeing ways in which public administration can help create a better society through the use of open source, and I am currently helping in a study on the impact of open source for the European Commission .
Why do you want to be on the board? I want to continue be a visible advocate for open source hardware. It is important to reach out to communities that may be not be aware of the open source hardware philosophy and the potential benefits. I have given many presentations on the principles of open source hardware and OSHWA’s efforts at events across Europe and the US over the past 2 years, and I believe we can grow the movement by continuing to expose more people to these concepts.
In particular, I would like to grow the visibility of OSHWA in the chip design community where open source is starting to gain acceptance. My vision is to have a computer system where it is certified open source hardware all the way down to the transistor level. I believe this is possible in the next 2 years if OSHWA provides guidance to people designing open source microprocessor chips (such as with the Google+Skywater silicon fab program).
What qualifies you to be a board member? I believe I have proven to be a strong advocate for open source hardware to DIY makers, hardware hackers and professional engineers. I have led electronic badge projects for the past two Open Hardware Summits to be demonstrate open collaboration on hardware design and to encourage people to hack on electronics. As a RISC-V ambassador and FOSSi member, I have gotten heavily involved over the past year in the open source chip-level design community and I have been increasing the visibility of OSHWA and our certification process.
Why do you want to be on the board? The work that OSHWA does in moving forward the field of open source hardware is super important to so many projects out there, including the work that we do at Conservify and FieldKit. The milestones around certification and the virtual Open Hardware Summit this year are impressive feats, and I hope to continue to work on the board to help move that work forward along with new things that OSHWA would like to do in the future. I would like to bring in the connections I have made in the foundation and nonprofit funding spaces to help to increase the capacity of what OSHWA can do. There is a eagerly growing interest in open hardware within the scientific and conservation fields that I work in, and I have always been a very outspoken proponent of choosing open solutions over proprietary. I want to do all that I can to help keep that momentum in those spaces (and other fields), and I believe that a board member position at OSHWA is a great place to do that from. I really appreciated my time with OSHWA so far and would like that to continue.
What qualifies you to be a board member? I’ve served on the board for the last two years and have a good understanding of how it works. I also believe that many of the connections I have made in my work can benefit OSHWA, both in the fundraising space and the outreach side of things. Everything we work on at Conservify and FieldKit (which one the 2019 Hackaday Prize) is open source and always have been. We are starting the process to certify FieldKit with OSHWA shortly. For FieldKit, we are actively building a community of users and developers that will be contributing to an international open source project, and would like that to be closely aligned with the work happening at OSHWA. I am also working on a number of global initiatives that are adjacent to OSHWA, including one around open environmental sensing, one around open distributed manufacturing, and one around open source conservation technology.
Why do you want to be on the board? I think that the exponential diffusion of open source in the past decade is one of the best things that happened to the technology world. Making knowledge openly accessible to individuals and businesses means less time spent duplicating other people’s efforts to re-invent the wheel and more time spent on applications, which is what drives innovation forward. Individuals can learn from open source designs, and it lowers the barrier of entry to the market for new businesses, democratizing the process. The OSHWA has a prominent role in promoting the open source philosophy and supporting the community. I want to be part of the board to contribute to the effort, trying to bring more and more businesses on board with the open source philosophy, by showing them how they can benefit from sharing and using open source designs. I also want to develop a strategy to influence governments and funding bodies to ensure that designs developed thanks to publicly funded research are released as open source.
What qualifies you to be a board member? I am an audio engineer by training and I have a PhD in electronic engineering. During my PhD I contributed to the creation of Bela, an open source platform for embedded audio processing. I am the main maintainer of Bela at Augmented Instruments Ltd (AIL), and also the main source of contact for supporting our users through our forum, where I always strive to improve the users’ knowledge, instead of simply solving their problems. All the products we release at AIL are open source software and hardware, and we believe in building on and contributing to the open source community.
I would use my experience in grant writing to gather funding for OSHWA, which could play a key role as a main applicant or project partner in projects aimed at education and knowledge share.
OSHWA is looking for 5 new faces to join the board of directors for the Open Source Hardware Association. The nominee form is, as always, for self-nominations only. Please fill out the nominee form (deactivated 11:59PM ET on Oct. 10th) to become a nominee or forward the link to someone you want to nominate. Do not fill out the form for someone else. The purpose of this form is to tell voting members why you want to serve on the OSHWA board. We will be publish the nominees and their answers on Oct 12th. Board members hold a 2-year position. Once board members have been chosen by the community, the board will appoint a President, VP, and Secretary. Board responsibilities include fundraising, advising on goals and direction, and carry out compliance with the organizations purposes and bylaws. See the board member agreement to get a sense of the responsibilities. Board members are expected to adhere to the board attendance policy and come prepared having read the board packet. Board members are expected to spend 5-10 hours of time per month on OSHWA. Nominees can submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations will be open until Oct. 10th.
Member voting will take place Oct. 19th-23rd. Want to vote in the election? Become a member! Please note that only individuals can vote, corporate members cannot.
October is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get ready for Open Hardware Month! This year with our theme of Label and Certify we’re putting the spotlight on two ways to help the world know your hardware is Open Source: Open Hardware Facts and the OSHWA Certification.
Open Hardware Facts
Inspired by our Executive Director Alicia Gibb, and created by board member Jeffrey Yoo Warren, the Open Hardware Facts Generator helps you declare the licenses used in your project using a format similar to the US Nutrition Facts Label. Listing your licenses in one prominent place (such as the README of your repository) helps users immediately know what they can and can’t do with your source, rather than having to browse through individual files.
The OSHWA Certification continues to grow, with almost 1,000 projects from over 40 countries! If you’re not yet familiar, the certification program provides a way for consumers to immediately recognize hardware whose meaning of “Open” conforms to the OSHW Definition. It also provides a directory for OSHW creators, which stands as evidence that your product is in compliance with the OSHW Definition.
Update on OHM Events
We originally planned to have the community host virtual events this year, but we found many people are not looking forward to another video meeting. Therefore, we are shifting our focus to just labeling, certifying, and documenting projects from home. We look forward to normal OHM events in 2021!
Hosting and Joining OHM Events We invite individuals and companies alike to host events relating to the theme, or supporting Open Hardware more generally. Unlike previous years, we expect most events to be virtual due to COVID-19. Thankfully, both labeling and certifying can be done from home! If you choose to host an in-person event, we expect you to follow all local health guidelines to help keep our community safe. Find what you need to plan an OHM event at the OHM website. Looking for an OHM event to join? As events are submitted and approved, they’ll be listed on the OHM website as well. For virtual events, we’ll also list the online platform being used and the event’s time zone.
Black Lives Matter. We stand with the Black community and we choose to be actively anti-racist, work towards racial equity, and against White supremacy. As part of this, we are taking steps here in our community.
The words that we use have an impact. It is time to remove the words which describe a morally repugnant relationship, “Master” and “Slave”, from our technical vocabulary. These terms have been used for decades to describe the relationship between hardware components. Some of the standards and interfaces that use this terminology include SPI, I2C, Wishbone, AXI, SD, RapidI/O, and MIPI DSI.
By way of example, the SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) protocol specifies logic signals with names including MOSI (Master Output Slave Input), MISO (Master Input Slave Output), and SS (Slave Select). This is unacceptable.
These signals in SPI – along with those in the other protocols – should not have been named this way. Even so, it is well past time to change them. Any number of individuals and organizations have already adopted alternative nomenclature, but we as a community have thus far failed to take the collective action necessary to establish a new convention and eliminate these legacy names from common use.
Effective immediately, we call upon hardware and software developers to fully and widely adopt the Resolution to Redefine SPI Pin Names. While acknowledging that change has its costs, there is no excuse for any member of our community or industries to continue to reference “Master” and “Slave” as technical terms going forward. We will continue to work on other standards.
The Open Source movement must be built on inclusion, not exclusion. Dismantling systems of oppression require conscious, coordinated, and sustained effort. Although removing racist terms from hardware standards is important, it is obviously only a small part of the work to be done. We call on our community to bring to light and help us address and remove other sources of systemic oppression within the open hardware and technology communities we’ve helped build and sustain.
The Open Source Hardware Association
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