Neo Freerunner manufacturing status

steve steve at
Thu Mar 20 01:42:47 CET 2008

Some points.

nearly everyone misses the difference between internal schedules and
external schedules.

In closed companies you never publish the Internal schedule. Announcing the
future product kills the present product.
You wait until the cake is fully baked, then you deliver it. Nobody sees
your internal slips. Nobody sees the nasty bug it took forever to find.
nobody sees the struggle and the hard work. They see the final product.
and it is always "on time."  

At Openmoko we choose to do things differently. Everyone on the outside sees
the sausage being made. heck they help make the sausage!. Hard core
engineers get this. It's very intimidating to have people watch your day to
day struggling. It would be easy to be closed and announce new products only
when they are finished. 

We choose a different path. 

specific questions about PVT.

First DVT parts must complete testing. DVT testing is comprehensive. the
device is expected to pass.

question about A5 and A6.  The difference between a5 and A6 is yield
related. I don't have the specifics of the change order. An A5 will function
exactly like an A6 does. It is Yeild only. 
sample A6 PCBs are coming into the factory end of march.

How long will PVT take? On paper, if everything works according to NOMINAL
schedules, then we would schedule 2-3 PVT runs ( run, test, tweak,
run,test,tweak, run,test,tweak) If my product were the only product we built
and if all tests were nominal, that would take a couple weeks. 

Then comes production. This too needs to be scheduled. 

If I guess at this stage I put huge pressure on engineering when they are
trying to perfect this device. what is the point in that? 

The next significant Milestone will be the first PVT run.  

I'll update folks when that happens

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Shiloh [mailto:michael at] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 11:25 AM
To: List for OpenMoko community discussion
Cc: steve
Subject: Re: Neo Freerunner manufacturing status

Hi Ian,

Since I'm in California and the factory is in China, it's a little 
difficult for me to know exactly what the plan is and where there are 
concerns and weaknesses.

As far as I can tell there is some concern that the yield initially may 
not be as high as we would like, and that some tweaking will be 
necessary. Until we manufacture a trial run, we won't know whether 
tweaking will be necessary or how extensive this tweaking needs to be.

So, sadly, I don't know how long PVT will take and have no timeline.

Perhaps those of you with more mass-production manufacturing experience 
can speak from your experiences.


ian douglas wrote:
> Hi Michael (and Steve),
> I'm surprised nobody has asked yet:
> I know Michael himself has admitted that Openmoko has been historically 
> bad at estimating delivery dates, but is there *any* chance on getting 
> an updated timeline now that we have this news about the A5/A6?
> IE: How long can we (reasonably) expect the design update from A5 to A6 
> expect to take? Will the PVT take a week? Two weeks? How long will final 
> production take to ramp up and start seeing units make their way to 
> shipping departments?
> Ian
> Michael Shiloh wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> I just received a status report from our VP of Marketing, Steve Mosher:
>> The Freerunner design is currently staged to go through Production
>> Validation Test (PVT). The hardware design A5 is, we believe, solid. 
>> We are updating this design to A6 to maximize production yields.
>> The purpose of PVT is to make sure the yield is high enough, and to 
>> make sure the manufacturing and testing process is smooth and efficient.
>> Steve also welcomes direct contact from you. He can be reached at 
>> steve at

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