Thursday, August 25, 2011

CERN-open hardware license

CERN is recently in news for the "Large Hadron Collider"-this is a huge experiment to find out lots of things.One of them is higgs-boson particle-named after bengali scientist satyendranath bose.
Anyway today's post is not about collider  but for another important,interesting and far-reaching thing.Its the "open hardware licence".
Many of us are aware of open-source initiative;but this is available mainly in the field of software development.CERN is trying to bring this into hardware development as well through OHL.With open source software if a developer finds a flaw in the software, he can fix the flaw, and submit a patch for the same, in the process improving their own experience and those of others who use the patched software.
With open hardware, an engineer will be able to download the schematics of the malfunctioning / faulty / un-optimal hardware, and submit a "patch" for the same, making future iterations of the hardware better for all.
Now CERN has released OHL for the dissemination of the knowledge.
So the era of free hardware is going to begin.
Here,free means free as in free speech not as free eggroll.
The CERN release could be found here.
One successful example of open hardware initiative is Arduino.Its an  open source hardware and software platform based on Atmel microcontrollers and the hardware platform of choice for Andorid's new Open Accessory Development Kit.