OSHWA is looking for an Open Hardware Summit Chair

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) is looking for a Chair to the annual Open Hardware Summit set for April 22, 2022 in NYC @ NYU. This is an excellent opportunity to help shape the first in-person Summit since 2019, as well as to connect with the Open Hardware Community.

The Summit Chair helps to oversee the annual Open Hardware Summit. They work with OSHWA’s Executive Director, the Speaker Chair, and venue staff to produce the Summit.  The Summit Chair is also an ex officio member of the OSHWA board for the duration of the position. 

The Summit Chair is a paid, part-time position of $10,000. It begins in September of 2021 and concludes in early May of 2022.  The Open Hardware Summit Playbook establishes milestones that allow for flexible time commitments in the months leading up to the Summit. The Chair should expect to be on site and work full days on April 20, 21, and 22 of 2022. As we approach the Summit dates, the time commitment of the position will ramp up. OSHWA pays travel expenses related to the Summit.

OSHWA strongly encourages all people to apply (please circulate widely), especially those who hold the following intersecting identities: Black, Native or Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, non-binary, persons living with disabilities, neurodivergent, young, speak English as a second language, and others with lived experience in overlooked and/or underestimated communities.

The main tasks for the Summit Chair are:

  • Regularly updating the Summit website (runs on WordPress) 
  • Promoting the Summit to open hardware and open hardware-adjacent communities in the NYC area and around the world
  • Overseeing the Summit social media presence 
  • Recruiting Summit keynote speakers
  • Managing the Ada Lovelace Fellowship application process
  • Designing the Summit staging and visual identity (either directly or by coordinating with an outside designer) 
  • Planning any pre or post parties (COVID permitting)

The Summit Chair is not expected to:

  • Fundraise for the Summit
  • Make venue or catering decisions
  • Manage venue A/V
  • Manage ticketing infrastructure
  • Maintain Summit website infrastructure
  • Manage the non-keynote speaker selection process

Candidates for this position must have:

  • Demonstrated experience organizing and managing community events
  • A connection to the open source hardware community
  • Demonstrated ability to set and meet deadlines
  • The ability to be in NYC for the Summit (COVID permitting)

Ideal candidates for this position will also have:

  • Experience promoting events 
  • Experience with community building
  • Experience designing stage and event spaces either directly or as a collaborator with other designers

To Apply, please fill out this form.  OSHWA will begin reviewing applications on August 16 and then on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

OSHWA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its recruitment and hiring process without regard to age, alienage, caregiver status, childbirth, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, partnership status, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy, race, religion, reproductive health decision making, sex, sexual orientation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

Graphic representation of the open source hardware universe as being larger than just microcontrollers

The State of Open Source Hardware in 2021

Today OSHWA, in collaboration with the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law, is excited to launch The 2021 State of Open Source Hardware.  This graphic report builds on data from OSHWA’s Open Hardware Certification Program, the annual Open Hardware Summit, and the annual Open Hardware Community Survey.

Map showing the geographic reach of open source hardware registrations over time.

The state of open source hardware is strong.  In the eleven years since the first Open Hardware Summit we have seen open hardware grow, with new communities creating new hardware for new uses around the world.  Hundreds of pieces of open source hardware have been certified as compliant with the Open Hardware Definition from countries on every continent except Antarctica. 

Chart linking the types of certified open source hardware to the countries where the hardware comes from.

A wide range of companies have been built and grown on the foundation of open source hardware.  Dozens of Ada Lovelace Fellows have helped to diversify the open hardware community.  Nonprofit organizations in academia, conservation, science, medical, and more have helped to broaden the impact of open hardware in innumerable ways.  

The results of the community survey makes it clear that people come to open hardware for a range of reasons and use open hardware to address a range of needs.  However they start with open hardware, once they start using it they are hooked. Community members study designs, adapt them, and build upon existing designs in order to achieve their goals.  Open hardware is used in teaching, the development of commercial products, and everything in between.
What are you waiting for? Click over, check it out, and let us know what you think.  While the state of open source hardware is strong in 2021, we think it may get even stronger in the future.

hardwarex + OSHWA certification logo

HardwareX Integrates OSHWA Certification into Paper Submission Process

Today we are excited to announce that the open hardware journal HardwareX is integrating OSHWA certifications into their paper submission process.  

HardwareX is an open access journal that focuses on free and open source designing, building, and customizing of scientific hardware.  It has long used the Open Source Hardware Definition as a requirement for submissions.  Now HardwareX is also integrating the OSHWA hardware certification program into the paper submission process.

First, HardwareX has updated its guide for authors to encourage (although not require) authors to certify their hardware for open source compliance before, during, or after submitting to HardwareX.  This is a win for authors and for HardwareX.  Authors can use the certification process to make sure that their hardware meets the Open Source Hardware Definition.  Certification is often an iterative process where OSHWA helps creators meet all of the Definition’s requirements.  HardwareX can rely on the OSHWA certification to confirm that hardware complies with the Definition, freeing up resources to review the papers themselves.

Second, OSHWA and HardwareX are standardizing ways to connect HardwareX articles to the Certification Directory.  HardwareX will include OSHWA certification UIDs in their specification tables for articles that include certified hardware.  Creators can update their certification directory listing with the “#HX” tag in the project description, and add a link to the HardwareX manuscript.

As the open hardware community grows, so too do our institutions.  We look forward to finding new ways to collaborate with all of the parts of the community in the future.  If you would like to connect with the certification program, please reach out at info@oshwa.org, check out our certification program API, or just certify your own hardware directly!

Open Source Hardware (and Gateware) for 5G

OSHWA recently sent a response to the 5G Challenge Notice of Inquiry published by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the US. The Notice of Inquiry focuses on the development of an open-source software stack for 5G wireless communication. In our response we highlighted the role that Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) can play in the path from the radio receiver to the 5G software stack and conversely from the software stack to the radio transmitter. FPGAs can cope with very high data rates, for which pure software solutions can be suboptimal.

It is therefore important that FPGA designs are made part of the challenge, and also that these designs be open-source for the same reasons that it makes sense to open-source the software stack. FPGA design is typically done using Hardware Description Languages (HDLs). HDL code is fed to synthesis, place & route and bitstream generation tools. The bitstream file then configures the FPGA, so its logic gates and flip-flops implement the circuit specified in the design. HDL code is sometimes called “gateware” (a reference to the logic gates it targets) to distinguish it from software.

If researchers and developers are going to collaborate on common open-source gateware and software, they would ideally do so using an open hardware platform. This would democratize access, enlarging the talent pool which can contribute to the effort. It would also protect the development against vendor lock-in and save time and effort on porting to different imperfectly-compatible platforms.

Finally, this could be an opportunity to improve the Free and Open Source Software tools for gateware design. There are thriving communities of open-source software-defined radio and FPGA tool developers, and we believe including them in this challenge and having hardware and gateware in the picture will result in a better 5G for everyone.

New Report on the OSHW Community COVID-19 Response

The Wilson Center and NYU’s Engelberg Center have released a new report entitled Stitching Together a Solution: Lessons from the Open Source Hardware Response to COVID-19. The report examines how the open source hardware community came together to produce lifesaving medical equipment at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of government authorities in that process. It finds that although some parts of the government tried to facilitate the community, in most cases there was a mismatch between what the government expected and what the OSHW community was doing. Nevertheless, the OSHW community significantly augmented the availability of medical supplies through their grassroots response. The report also provides lessons learned and recommendations to help the community and government agencies better respond to future crises together.

Now Accepting Talk Proposals for OHS 2021

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended one week to 02-18.

As we get approach the 2021 Open Hardware Summit on April 9th, we are now soliciting talk proposals from interested speakers. This year’s summit is virtual and will be held online on Friday 2021-04-09, 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM EDT.

The Open Hardware Summit is for presenting, discussing, and learning about open hardware of all kinds. The summit examines open hardware applications, practices, and theory, ranging from environmental sensors to 3D printable medical devices to open hardware processors and beyond. We are interested in open hardware on its own as well as in relation to topics such as software, design, business, law, and education. Past talks have featured topics such as advances in space propulsion, humanitarian projects, right to repair legislation, open hardware in education, and open hardware marketing.

For our eleventh edition we are especially looking for speakers who can offer insights around the role of open hardware in the COVID-19 pandemic, open hardware medical devices, and related topics.

We invite talk proposals from individuals and groups. Find all the details over at the summit site. Submissions are due by Thursday 2021-02-11 at 11 PM EDT.

Announcing the 2021 Open Hardware Summit!

open hardware summit at home

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.

Find details, including ticket and sponsorship information at 2021.oshwa.org. We look forward to seeing you (in the chat) then!

Welcome New Board Members 2020-2022

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!

Announcing the Open Source Hardware Certification API

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).

What’s New?

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 certification@oshwa.org.