Open Source Hardware


Open source hardware is a topic you might have heard about.  If not here’s a Wikipedia blurb to sum it up.  In short, open source hardware is electronic hardware produced where the design material is provided open and free for other users to use, re-use, modify, build on and even resell.  The Open Source Hardware Association has additional information, including a license description.

Here at Solutions Cubed we’ve been designing electronics since the mid 1990s.  Those designs have included some pretty complex stuff as well as some pretty low-end designs.  With a broad view of the electronics industry available to us it’s pretty easy to identify the open source hardware movement as something special.  We’re seeing dynamic, quick moving companies succeed at it.  Those companies, like Sparkfun and Arduino, are making electronics more affordable and opening them to broader audiences.   They should be applauded for their efforts and success.

This movement is something we want to be part of.  Over the next couple of months we’ll be producing open source hardware modules with our own spin on things.  Our goal is to offer standardized footprints for common engineering/electronic needs.  The first 10 designs are in a 9-pin SIP footprint.  All of these modules are under $18 for single units.

The initial designs include…

1. RS232-RS485-Logic serial data converter
2. IrDA to serial data converter
3. USB to serial data converter
4.  I2C Real time clock and calendar
5. Single H-bridge
6. IR object detector
7. Accelerometer and magnetometer
8. Accelerometer with analog outputs
9. High side load switches
10.  64Mbit SPI flash

We’ll cover these individually as they go up on the web site.   Next up for design concept is a slightly larger DIP design for modules that need some more pins.

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