Open Source Hardware Licensing

Open source hardware isn’t that easy. It is actually a mix of a bunch of different elements covered by a bunch of different types of IP.  That means that you are probably going to need to pick a few types of licenses for a few different parts of your hardware.

OSHWA is working on building a tool to make this easier to figure out, but in the meantime I wanted to throw up a quick post setting up a bit of a framework.  This framework is largely based on the work that Ryan Lawson and Adam Alperowicz did as students at the NYU Technology Law and Policy Clinic, although all errors are entirely mine.

The videos from ORConf 2017 are now online including this talk about hardware licensing:

Open Source Hardware Licensing

OSH Park sponsors the FOSSi Foundation

The Free and Open Source Silicon (FOSSi) Foundation fosters open source ​ semiconductor design​ and we’re proud to have become a sponsor!  Julius Baxter writes on the FOSSi Foundation blog:fossi_logo_large

OSH Park sponsors the FOSSi Foundation

We are pleased to announce that OSH Park, the purveyors of perfect purple PCBs, have become sponsors of the FOSSi Foundation’s activities. We are very grateful for their support and would like to recognize this by listing them on our Sponsors page at the Bronze tier.

We are actively looking for sponsors for the Foundation, if you’re interested in learning more about our activities and why we are looking for sponsorship, then please visit our sponsorship page and for more, see our detailed sponsorship proposal document.

More information on the FOSSi Foundation:

Inspired by the success of open source software, the Foundation will help bring about IP and tools of comparable quality to proprietary offerings, and which are developed according to an open source model by a highly collaborative and inclusive community. The FOSSi Foundation will address the issues the field currently faces; fragmentation, legal uncertainty, design quality, and high barriers to entry.

FOSSi has launched LibreCores:

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gateway to free and open source digital designs and other components that you can use and re-use in your digital designs.

FOSSi also organizes the ORConf:

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We’re pleased to announce that ORConf 2017 will be held between September 8th and September 10th in Hebden Bridge in the UK.

Past talks are on the FOSSi Foundation’s YouTube channel such as this introduction from last year (jump to 1:59):

OSH Park sponsors the FOSSi Foundation

OnChip Open Source RISC-V microcontroller at ORCONF 2016


ORCONF 2016 was held earlier this month in Bologna, Italy:

ORCONF is an open source digital design and embedded systems conference, covering areas of electronics from the transistor level up to Linux user space and beyond. Expect presentations and discussion on free and open source IP projects, implementations on FPGA and in silicon, verification, EDA tools, licensing and embedded software, to name a few.


Begun as the annual OpenRISC developers and users conference, it has become a broad open source digital design-oriented event and is supported by FOSSi – the Free and Open Source Silicon Foundation.

Elkim Roa spoke about OnChip, an Open Source silicon microcontroller, designed by his research group at UIS (Universidad Industrial de Santander):

Fully-tested 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller in 130nm

The slides are available as PDF on GitHub:

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OnChipUIS has several repos on GitHub related to the project including:

mriscvA 32-bit Microcontroller featuring a RISC-V core

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OnChip Open Source RISC-V microcontroller at ORCONF 2016