Around 6 years back, we started as a group of FOSS, PowerPC and Open Hardware enthusiasts, with beginning to work on PowerPC Notebook project which was designed around GNU/Linux using Open Hardware. We had very limited funding with limited skills to work. But our enthusiasm and motivation led us to reach fabrication stage for the motherboard. Finally this year we could successfully design its PCB with the help of collaborators and limited funding from donors. There were many challenges faced in this process. Since PowerPC processors have been around for more than 2 decades, but the current implementation on Notebook was difficult to take in the market. Coming to the performance in Big Endian mode is maximized in this with many software need to be patched. In future we plan to upgrade our PCB design to the more recent packaging technology for the processor. Also, with increasing collaborators, it would be possible to design more smaller and cheaper PowerPC board.
The tentative deadline for Phase1B is 18th November so there are two weeks left to donate the remaining 2600 euros. If we will reach the goal, the PCB with SI bus simulation should be ready by the middle of December.
In this case in before the end of 2020 we start working on production of the Prototypes together with the Prototypes Donation Campaign.
We have to give a name to the motherboard, suggestions still remain open few days more on our forum.
Our Open Hardware license and endianness suggestions at OSS 2020
We have talked about Cern Open Hardware License and Endianness at Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference on Europe 27 Oct 2020
Cern Open Hardware License
Why not a software license such as GPL?
Hardware licenses are specific for hardware so they are written using the appropriate words: manufacturer, devices, CAD tool…
Why we choose the CERN Open Hardware Licence v1.2?
We think it offers a better protection for the licensor compared to other hw licenses such as TAPR Open Hardware License
So, who are the licensor and the licensee?
– In our project we (Power Progress Community) are the licensor and the licensee is the hardware producer.
The Licensee may manufacture or distribute Products
– Licensee could modify our work but the modification must be available under the same or equivalent license.
Licensor is protected
– Quality and responsabilities of the hardware belong to the licensee.
Other important notes
– Firmware, drivers and any other software would require their own license.
– Intellectual property belongs to the licensor.
– Documentation must be provided in the right format to be modified (using a CAD tool).