The success of Open Source Software is now beginning to influence how people approach hardware too. Get ready for an equivalent revolution on the hardware side.
Open Source hardware (OSHW) follows the same philosophy and licensing of technical information for how to build hardware. OSHW covers the licensing of mechanical drawings, schematics, PCB layouts, HDL source code, data for integrated cirguit layout, and any other technical data or information needed to build and construct hardware.
Examples of companies already building hardware projects and products on open source specifications include SparkFun Electronics, Adafruit Industries, Willow Garage, ROS, OpenWetWare, and Pearl Biotech.
Even large established hardware vendors are at least partially on board. Vlad Rozanovich, AMD vice president of commercial business for the Americas, said that ”If there can be community development that is not proprietary, it can benefit everybody.”
Similarly, Trevor Good, co-chair of the Hardware Innovation Workshop, told Informationweek, that Open Source Hardware is all ”about enabling companies to move faster and be more pliable than ever.” It’s not a business plan or a business strategy, but a tool to drive business.