Monthly Archives: April 2012

OSHW Survey 2012 – First Numbers

via oshwa.org

The open hardware community survey received 2091 responses from 70 countries! A big thank you to all those who took the time to fill out the questionnaire. We’re now sorting the data and will publish the aggregate results in the coming weeks. We hope that the information and insights you shared will help us better serve this community and make the case for open source hardware.

And a special thanks also to those who provided feedback on the questionnaire itself. Your input is greatly appreciated and will help us do better next time. Initially we launched the survey with a question about race/ethnicity, but while this is a common demographics question in the USA, feedback from respondents in other countries informed us that this is not the case in several other regions. So, out of respect for different sensibilities, we pulled that question shortly after the survey launched and purged the data collected until then. You can download the feedback report here.

Stay tuned for the results!

Answered question: 1502 out of 2091. Breakdown by country: Algeria - 1, Argentina - 9, Australia - 54, Austria - 9, Bahamas - 1, Belarus - 1, Belgium - 16, Brazil - 23, Brunei - 1, Bulgaria - 4, Canada - 78, China - 7, Colombia - 2, Croatia - 1, Czech Republic - 5, Denmark - 7, El Salvador - 1, Estonia - 2, France - 43, Finland - 16, Germany - 51, Greece - 5, Hungary - 4, India - 32, Indonesia - 1, Iran - 1, Ireland - 6, Israel - 4, Italy - 32, Japan - 4, Jordan/Palestine - 1, Kazakhstan - 1, Kyrgyzstan - 1, Latvia - 2, Lithuania - 2, Luxembourg - 1, Macedonia - 1, Malaysia - 2, Mexico - 10, Morocco - 1, Netherlands - 21, New Zealand - 18, Norway - 7, Pakistan - 3, Panama - 1, Paraguay - 1, Peru - 3, Philippines - 5, Poland - 7, Portugal - 31, Romania - 4, Russia - 3, Saudi Arabia - 1, Scotland - 3, Singapore - 5, Slovakia - 3, Slovenia - 1, South Africa - 3, Spain - 37, Sri Lanka - 1, Sweden - 23, Switzerland - 14, Syria - 2, Taiwan - 3, Thailand - 4, Turkey - 4, UK - 59, Ukraine - 4, USA - 779, Venezuela - 3.

Infant Mortality

via Nuts and Volts

Perhaps it’s just me, but I get the feeling that components just aren’t as good as they used to be. I’ve had a run of defective wall-wart power supplies, an IC that suddenly failed in-circuit with a puff of smoke, and potentiometers for an audio preamp project that just don’t meet specifications for resistance. I suppose it’s a reflection of cost-cutting measures in the electronics industry.

Open Compute Project: One Year In

via Open Compute Project

We asked ourselves some questions a little over a year ago. What if we applied open-source software principles to the hardware industry? What if we could mobilize a community of passionate people dedicated to making data centers and hardware more efficient, shrinking their environmental footprint, while accelerating the pace of innovation?
To answer those questions, we formed the Open Compute Project a year ago today. The Open Compute Project (OCP) coincided with the launch of the Facebook data center in Prineville, Ore., where OCP hardware and designs made their production debut. In our commitment to openness and sharing with the industry, we released the initial specifications and CAD models for all the OCP technologies: the data center mechanical and electrical designs, motherboards, power supplies, battery backup solution, and server chassis and “triplet” cabinet.

We’re seeing many indications that the open hardware concept is working. Our peers and technology suppliers are thinking differently about how to innovate in the scale compute space. Some are building open hardware based on OCP designs. Others are procuring and deploying OCP hardware. Resellers are beginning to build businesses around open hardware.

A community has formed around the project, attending two OCP summits last year to collaborate, share and learn.

And the pace of innovation is accelerating: great ideas are flowing through the incubation committee, ideas shaped by industry’s best minds. The committee decides on the best projects for the OCP.

OCP is evolving into a project based on open innovation, where we publish specifications before we build prototypes. This way, we can get feedback from the community and improve upon the designs before they launch as products. This is unlike anything we’ve seen in the scale compute industry so far.

We had no idea we could have made this much impact this quickly. And to keep up the momentum, we’re gathering again in San Antonio for our third OCP summit to talk about the OCP’s focus and values, the progress we’ve made and what we plan to do next.

See you in San Antonio!

Energy-efficient Computing (Open Compute, BeagleBoard, Event-driven XCore)

via OSHUG

At the eighteenth OSHUG meeting we will hear how open source collaboration is being used to transform data centre design, and how open source hardware and software have been used to enable low cost ARM development. It will also be the OSHUG 2nd anniversary, and two years on we are delighted to welcome back XMOS, who will be giving us an introduction to event-driven programming with XCore.

The Open Compute Project

Facebook uses a lot of servers, and those servers use a lot of energy. To minimise the costs associated with those servers and data center facilities, Facebook engineers came up with a fresh design. To build a community around that design it has been open sourced via the Open Compute Project (OCP). OCP is now involved in taking the requirements of many large data center users, and turning them into designs for servers, the racks that hold them, the facilities that power and cool them, and the management interfaces that control them. This presentation will give an overview of what Facebook have built, and how OCP plans to transform data centers elsewhere.

Chris Swan has been an electronics hobbyist and software hacker since primary school. These days he's an IT guy at a large bank, focussed on security and innovation - including mobile, consumerisation and cloud computing. Alongside his day job Chris chairs the infrastructure working group at the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA), which is partnered with the Open Compute Project (OCP).

BeagleBoard.org Community - Open Hardware, Open Software, Open Platforms

BeagleBoard.org has created a number of products since its conception a few years ago, from the initial 'BeagleBoard' single board computer, through to the enhanced 'BeagleBoard-xM' with more performance and connectivity, and its most recent and expandable platform, the 'BeagleBone'. All of these have set out to achieve a goal of bringing high performance ARM-based processing technology to a wide 'community' of developers and users, in low-cost 'open' platforms, giving access to as much of the system-on-chip features as possible. The recent launch of the 'BeagleBone' was a great testament to this vibrant 'community', key to Beagleboard.org, which enabled a wealth of advanced platform and application software to be immediately available, and a large amount of hardware expertise providing feedback and ready to start building add-ons and clones. This was exactly what was hoped for when the project was initially conceived by a couple of engineers discussing at the coffee machine about how their technology could be made more widely accessible. The community continues to grow each day, with more and more exciting and innovative uses for these low-cost, open platforms revealed on the various mailing lists and chat rooms - from 'football playing robots' to 'media servers', the list, expertise and imagination seems endless!

This presentation hopes to give an overview of the BeagleBoard.org community project and how the products have been created and supported. There have been many exciting moments, many challenges and many lessons learned throughout this project - some of which will hopefully be covered during this presentation and discussion.

Roger Monk is a System Applications Engineer for Texas Instruments, and has spent the last 10+ years working closely with customers to build hi-tech electronic products based around Texas Instruments Embedded Processing technology across a range of application areas. Roger is passionate about open-source technology and the ability for it to help deliver higher quality, more innovative products to market quickly. He has been closely involved with the BeagleBoard.org community project since its conception.

Event-driven Programming with XCore

XMOS designs concurrent, event-driven processor cores. Because of the deterministic nature of the architecture both real-time algorithms and hardware interfaces can be developed as software. The event-driven nature of the processor means that all programs pause until they need to perform a task, making them inherently efficient.

In this talk we will discuss events, concurrency, and how hardware interfaces can be programmed in software. We will then show the design of the slice-kit development system, which enables XCores to be easily attached to peripheral PCB's containing, for example, an Ethernet PHY.

Henk Muller is currently the Principal Technologist at XMOS Ltd. In that role he has been involved in the design and implementation of hardware and software for real time systems. Prior to that, Henk worked in Academia for 20 years in computer architecture, compilers, and ubiquitous computing. He holds a doctorate from the University of Amsterdam.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Sponsored by:

Energy-efficient Computing (Open Compute, BeagleBoard, Event-driven XCore)

via OSHUG

At the eighteenth OSHUG meeting we will hear how open source collaboration is being used to transform data centre design, and how open source hardware and software have been used to enable low cost ARM development. It will also be the OSHUG 2nd anniversary, and two years on we are delighted to welcome back XMOS, who will be giving us an introduction to event-driven programming with XCore.

The Open Compute Project

Facebook uses a lot of servers, and those servers use a lot of energy. To minimise the costs associated with those servers and data center facilities, Facebook engineers came up with a fresh design. To build a community around that design it has been open sourced via the Open Compute Project (OCP). OCP is now involved in taking the requirements of many large data center users, and turning them into designs for servers, the racks that hold them, the facilities that power and cool them, and the management interfaces that control them. This presentation will give an overview of what Facebook have built, and how OCP plans to transform data centers elsewhere.

Chris Swan has been an electronics hobbyist and software hacker since primary school. These days he's an IT guy at a large bank, focussed on security and innovation - including mobile, consumerisation and cloud computing. Alongside his day job Chris chairs the infrastructure working group at the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA), which is partnered with the Open Compute Project (OCP).

BeagleBoard.org Community - Open Hardware, Open Software, Open Platforms

BeagleBoard.org has created a number of products since its conception a few years ago, from the initial 'BeagleBoard' single board computer, through to the enhanced 'BeagleBoard-xM' with more performance and connectivity, and its most recent and expandable platform, the 'BeagleBone'. All of these have set out to achieve a goal of bringing high performance ARM-based processing technology to a wide 'community' of developers and users, in low-cost 'open' platforms, giving access to as much of the system-on-chip features as possible. The recent launch of the 'BeagleBone' was a great testament to this vibrant 'community', key to Beagleboard.org, which enabled a wealth of advanced platform and application software to be immediately available, and a large amount of hardware expertise providing feedback and ready to start building add-ons and clones. This was exactly what was hoped for when the project was initially conceived by a couple of engineers discussing at the coffee machine about how their technology could be made more widely accessible. The community continues to grow each day, with more and more exciting and innovative uses for these low-cost, open platforms revealed on the various mailing lists and chat rooms - from 'football playing robots' to 'media servers', the list, expertise and imagination seems endless!

This presentation hopes to give an overview of the BeagleBoard.org community project and how the products have been created and supported. There have been many exciting moments, many challenges and many lessons learned throughout this project - some of which will hopefully be covered during this presentation and discussion.

Roger Monk is a System Applications Engineer for Texas Instruments, and has spent the last 10+ years working closely with customers to build hi-tech electronic products based around Texas Instruments Embedded Processing technology across a range of application areas. Roger is passionate about open-source technology and the ability for it to help deliver higher quality, more innovative products to market quickly. He has been closely involved with the BeagleBoard.org community project since its conception.

Event-driven Programming with XCore

XMOS designs concurrent, event-driven processor cores. Because of the deterministic nature of the architecture both real-time algorithms and hardware interfaces can be developed as software. The event-driven nature of the processor means that all programs pause until they need to perform a task, making them inherently efficient.

In this talk we will discuss events, concurrency, and how hardware interfaces can be programmed in software. We will then show the design of the slice-kit development system, which enables XCores to be easily attached to peripheral PCB's containing, for example, an Ethernet PHY.

Henk Muller is currently the Principal Technologist at XMOS Ltd. In that role he has been involved in the design and implementation of hardware and software for real time systems. Prior to that, Henk worked in Academia for 20 years in computer architecture, compilers, and ubiquitous computing. He holds a doctorate from the University of Amsterdam.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Sponsored by: