OSHWA: A Resolution to Redefine SPI Signal Names

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) has just posted:

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A Resolution to Redefine SPI Signal Names

We, the undersigned, encourage educators, engineers, designers, and community members to discontinue the use of the terms MOSI/MISO/SS and in their place use SDO/SDI/CS.

  • New signal names:
    • SDO – Serial Data Out. An output signal on a device where data is sent out to another SPI device.
    • SDI – Serial Data In. An input signal on a device where data is received from another SPI device.
    • CS – Chip Select. Activated by the controller to initiate communication with a given peripheral.
    • COPI (controller out / peripheral in). For devices that can be either a controller or a peripheral; the signal on which the device sends output when acting as the controller, and receives input when acting as the peripheral.
    • CIPO (controller in / peripheral out). For devices that can be either a controller or a peripheral; the signal on which the device receives input when acting as the controller, and sends output when acting as the peripheral.
      SDIO – Serial Data In/Out. A bi-directional serial signal.
  • Deprecated signal names:
    • MOSI – Master Out Slave In
    • MISO – Master In Slave Out
    • SS – Slave Select
    • MOMI – Master Out Master In
    • SOSI – Slave Out Slave In
  • Signal names unchanged:
    • SCK – Serial Clock. The clock for the bus generated by the controller.

Designers should avoid signal names MOSI/MISO and instead use SDO/SDI. The SDI signal is defined by the perspective of the device. For example, the SDI signal on a sensor is the pin that receives data from the controller. Similarly, the SDO pin on a controller is the output pin that sends data to a peripheral.

It is best practice to use SDO/SDI and Controller/Peripheral. Change the way you write tutorials, create schematics, and diagrams. This is the best way to educate the next generation of users and engineers.

Read more..

OSHWA: A Resolution to Redefine SPI Signal Names

MNT Reform: Introducing the Much More Personal Computer

The Reform laptop from Lukas and Greta at MNT Research in Berlin has now launched on CrowdSupply:


MNT Reform

The open source DIY laptop for hacking, customization, and privacy

Mobile personal computers are becoming more and more opaque, vendor controlled, and hard to repair. Modern laptops have secret schematics, glued-in batteries, and components not under user control, like the Intel Management Engine or the Apple T2 security chip. Many people decide to tape over the built-in cameras of their laptops because they don’t know if they can trust the device or the software running on it.

Reform goes in the opposite direction. It is designed to be as open and transparent as possible, and to support a free and open source software stack from the ground up. It invites you to take a look under the hood, customize the documented electronics, and even repair it youself if you like. The Reform laptop has no built-in surveillance technologies, cameras, or microphones, so you can be confident that it will never spy on you. Built not around Intel technology, but NXP i.MX8M with 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores, Reform has a much simpler architecture than conventional laptops. This simplicity also makes for a more pleasant developer experience.


We are excited to have helped MNT prototype parts of the Reform:


The new Reform trackball has five buttons, so you don’t have to worry anymore about how to do a middle click or use the trackball as a scroll wheel (hold bottom left or right button and roll the ball up and down). Of course, because our trackball firmware is open source, you can adjust the button functions to behave exactly as you like. We developed a custom SLA-printed mechanical housing for the trackball. For the ball’s optical motion tracking, we are using a Pixart PAT9125EL laser sensor interfacing with a ATmega32U2 MCU with open source firmware.


If you prefer a trackpad over the trackball, you can choose it as an option. The trackball and trackpad are interchangeable modules. The trackpad is based on the capacitive multi-touch sensor module TPS65-201A-S by Azoteq. Like the trackball, we drive it with a custom ATmega32U2 PCB and our own open source firmware.

And it is excellent to see that it is certified OSHW:


Reform is open source hardware certified by OSHWA (Open Source Hardware Association)DE000017.

Licenses are:

  • CERN OHL-2.0-S (hardware)
  • GPL 3.0 (software, firmware)
  • CC-BY-SA 4.0 (documentation, artwork)
MNT Reform: Introducing the Much More Personal Computer

Adafruit becomes the company with the most certified OSHW

Exciting news from Adafruit:

Adafruit has become the #1 most OSHWA certified open-source hardware company

Yesterday, April 20th, Adafruit became the #1 most OSHWA certified open-source hardware company. In the last 27 days, 387 boards have been submitted by Adafruit for review by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). Of those 387 boards, 54 have already been approved. There are around 6 boards left to be submitted, which should  bring the number of approved Adafruit boards to around 393.

View the the full list of the certified boards:

Screenshot from 2020-04-22 13-42-15

Find out more about the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) and their certification process.

Adafruit becomes the company with the most certified OSHW

Open Source Hardware Certifications For March 2020

From Katherine Scott of OSHWA:


Open Source Hardware Certifications For March 2020

It is time again for your monthly OSHWA Certification update. Our newly certified projects this month reflect the Coronavirus pandemic. These certification fall roughly into two groups, projects directly trying to address the pandemic, and organizations impacted by the pandemic using recent social distancing rules to catch up on the certification of existing products.


A maker favorite that is finally able to show off its open hardware street cred is the BeagleBoard Black. The BeagleBoard Black is a workhorse single board computer that has been with us for a long time, and now it is finally certified open hardware. Just like the trinket this is a big win for open hardware, and allows down stream open hardware projects to become more open. In large engineering projects we often call these sorts of things systems of systems, and the fact that we are building open hardware systems of systems is a big win for the open hardware movement. I reached out to Jason Kridner, the co-founder of BeagleBoard.org about certifying the Beagle Board. I asked him about the motivations for certifying the BeagleBoard Black to which he responded, “Certification enables us to be clear that anyone can use our designs and make their own boards. It sets us apart from other small Linux computers and lets our values be known.”

Open Source Hardware Certifications For March 2020

New CERN Open Source Hardware Licenses Mark A Major Step Forward

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From Michael Weinberg on the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) blog:

New CERN Open Source Hardware Licenses Mark A Major Step Forward

Earlier this month CERN (yes, that CERN) announced version 2.0 of their open hardware licenses (announcement and additional context from them). Version 2.0 of the license comes in three flavors of permissiveness and marks a major step forward in open source hardware (OSHW) licensing. It is the result of seven (!) years of work by a team lead by Myriam AyassAndrew Katz, and Javier Serrano. Before getting to what these licenses are doing, this post will provide some background on why open source hardware licensing is so complicated in the first place.

New CERN Open Source Hardware Licenses Mark A Major Step Forward

Adafruit submitting OSHW certifications for boards


Exciting news from the Adafruit team, they have started the Open Source Hardware certification process for a bunch of their boards:

Adafruit submitting OSHW certifications for boards

Adafruit is an Open Source Hardware and Software company. To that end, Adafruit has begun working to submit many of their boards for certification by the Open Source Hardware Association. According to OSHWA:

“The certification program exists to make it easy for creators and users to identify hardware that follows the community definition of open source hardware maintained by OSHWA. Hardware projects that display the certification logo are licensed and documented in a way that makes it easy for users to use and build upon them.”

By registering their boards with OSHWA, Adafruit aims to ensure users that the products they sell are open-source, and easy to learn about.

Here are the boards that have recently been submitted:

CircuitPython Boards


Keep an eye out for more updates on this process.

Adafruit submitting OSHW certifications for boards

OSHWA: How We Made the Open Hardware Summit All Virtual in Less Than a Week

From OSHWA president Michael Weinberg:


How We Made the Open Hardware Summit All Virtual in Less Than a Week

First, thank you again to everyone – speakers, participants, and sponsors – for a fantastic 10th anniversary Open Hardware Summit.  We knew the 10th anniversary Summit would be one for the ages, although we didn’t quite expect it to be because it became the first virtual Summit.

Thanks to the timing of the Summit, the 10th anniversary Summit ended up being many people’s first virtual summit of the Covid-19 era (that includes the organizers).  Unfortunately it looks like it is unlikely to be the last. In the hopes of helping event organizers struggling with the same challenges, this blog post outlines the decisions we made and the steps we took to make it happen.

Quick Context

The Open Hardware Summit is an annual gathering of the open source hardware community held by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA).  This year OSHWA partnered with the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law to host the event in New York City.  The event usually brings together hundreds of community members and speakers from around the world.  It was scheduled for March 13, 2020.

While the situation has been evolving for some time, as recently as March 5th (8 days before the Summit) we thought that holding a reduced in-person version of the event was the right decision.  By March 8 (5 days before the Summit) that was no longer tenable and we announced that the Summit was going all virtual.  That was the right decision, but what does going all virtual mean?


We had two major priorities for the virtual Summit:

  1. Online streaming video of all of the speakers and panels.
  2. A community space for discussions and coming together.


The live stream of the Summit had to be both accessible to our viewers and easy to join for our speakers and panelists.  After considering some options and consulting with experts in our community (huge thank you to Phil Torrone at Adafruit for the guidance), we concluded that a combination of YouTube and StreamYard would be the best option.

YouTube worked for our community because it is easily accessible on a wide range of platforms in most of the world.  That meant that just about everyone would be able to see the Summit from wherever they were.

StreamYard made it easy to manage the backend.  Speakers could join a virtual green room before their talk and our technical testing the day before the Summit made it clear that it was easy for them to share their slide presentations as well.  One of the members of the Summit team was able to easily add and remove people (and their screens) to the live feed, along with stills and slides for introductions, sponsors, and everything else.

Screenshot from 2020-03-20 13-59-37

Community Space

We also looked at a number of options for online discussions.  We decided that a discord server would be the best option for the open source hardware community. Discord allowed us to open the space to anyone who wanted to join, while at the same time giving us moderation control over the discussion (huge thank you for Lenore Edman from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories for jumping in as a moderator).  Many community members were already comfortable with discord, which was also a bonus.

We also decided to use discord for a version of Q&A for the speakers.  One option would have been to try and integrate video questions from the audience into the live stream. That would have been technically possible with StreamYard (probably…), but it seemed like an unnecessary logistical complication for the organizers.  As an alternative we decided to set up separate discord channels for each of the speakers. That allowed the speakers to end their talk and move to their discord channel for further discussions.

One unexpected and welcome development was that the discord server grew into a larger community hub, with channels devoted to solutions to Covid-19, community announcements, hacking the conference badge, and even virtual conference tips.  We may decide to maintain the server well beyond the Summit as a community space.

It Mostly Worked

We scheduled brief runthroughs with all of the speakers the day before the Summit. Everyone had a chance to get comfortable with the process and work out any last minute problems.  On the day of the Summit we embedded the livestream in the Summit site, along with a link to the discord server for discussion. There were a few audio glitches where speakers had to briefly drop out, but all things considered it went pretty smoothly.

Once the Summit was over the entire livestream of the Summit was posted automatically to OSHWA’s YouTube channel.  Within a day or two we had broken out all of the individual talks into a video playlist and pulled the audio from our panel discussion into a stand alone podcast episode.

To the extent that things worked, one of the big reasons was the nature of the OSHWA community.  Besides being generally great and supportive (no small thing), the open source hardware community already sees itself as a community and is already comfortable with connecting via online tools.  That made it easy for them to enthusiastically watch the live stream and jump into the online discussion. Not all types of events have this starting point, which may suggest that they are not great candidates for this type of virtual structure.

If you are reading this because you are working on your own virtual event, good luck!  We are happy to answer questions if you have them. Email us at [email protected] StreamYard also has a referral program, so if you drop us a line at [email protected] we can give you a $10 credit if you want it.

OSHWA: How We Made the Open Hardware Summit All Virtual in Less Than a Week

Take the 2020 Open Source Hardware Survey

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) is conducting an Open Source Hardware community survey:

Screenshot from 2020-03-18 12-27-41

OSHWA Open Source Hardware Survey 2020

Thank you for participating in the 2020 Open Hardware Survey. It should take you less than 10 minutes to complete.  This survey is a project of the Open Source Hardware Associationwith support from the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law.  If you have questions about the survey, please email [email protected]

Take the 2020 Open Source Hardware Survey

How to join the virtual Open Hardware Summit tomorrow

Screenshot from 2020-03-12 10-15-35

Due to the COVID-19 virus, the Open Hardware Summit has been moved from NYC to cyberspace!



How to join the virtual Open Hardware Summit tomorrow