The University of São Paulo's intent to join Openmoko development

Dave Ball openmoko at
Tue Jul 14 02:43:25 CEST 2009

Hi Maddog,

[added cc to gta02-core list]

Thanks for looking into this - it certainly sounds like an amazing 
opportunity, almost too good to be true - what's the catch!  :-)

Do you know how Dr Zuffo sees the universities involvement with, and 
relationship to the rest of the community - i.e. do they seem themselves 
driving the projects, becoming 'sponsors', or as contributing members of 
the wider community?

 From my point of view, it sounds like they've got a lot to offer the 
projects (both in expertise and facilities), and I think our community 
would be stronger with them as members.  I'm assuming from your messages 
below that (initially at least) they are happy participating in the 
kicad / CC-SA licensed community process gta02-core has adopted so far?

While we're a long way away from producing quantities of 10,000 devices, 
in the coming weeks and months the gta02-core project is hoping to be in 
position to produce a handful of prototypes.  It sounds like LSI-USP 
might be able to help us with this current design process, and 
production of the prototypes?  This could be a sensible starting point 
for Dr Zuffo and LSI-USP to get involved with the community, building a 
relationship that can grow as we get to know them, and they get to know 

All the best,


Jon 'maddog' Hall wrote:
> Dear Openmoko Community,
> In light of the refocusing of Sean's company on consumer items, there
> has been a perceived vacuum created in the Openmoko community's efforts
> to create next-generation open cellular smart phones.
> I happened to be working with Dr. Marcelo Zuffo, a full professor and
> the head of the Laboratory for Integrated Systems at the University of
> São Paulo, Brazil, on an unrelated project.  I asked Dr. Zuffo if the
> university would be willing to join the Openmoko community and to
> provide critical resources to the task at hand.
> I subsequently have met with Dr. Zuffo several times on this matter,
> have seen his facilities (which include a very modern and
> state-of-the-art SMT line) and have discussed the goals of the community
> to design and prototype a completely open design for a cellular phone.
> Dr. Zuffo and the university understand your issues, understand free and
> open source software and hardware and are willing to assist the
> community with this project.
> I might add that the university can bring several new capabilities to
> the community:
> First of all, Dr. Zuffo has discussed the Openmoko project with the
> Minister of Telecommunications of Brazil, and the Minister is very
> enthusiastic about the concept.  Having the support of the government of
> the twelfth largest economy behind the project might really help us with
> various negotiations with vendors.
> Secondly the University has been working on several aspects of
> telecommunications for a long time, and therefore has expertise in
> telephonic security and codecs (among other things) that could be of use
> to the Openmoko community.
> Third, the university has the ability and expertise to design new
> integrated circuits.  Recently they designed a a range of analog-digital
> chips.  Therefore the possibility of developing, manufacturing and
> freely licensing new chips to help reduce the cost of the phone is
> possible.
> Forth, while the facilities I mentioned are capable of producing up to
> 10,000 units at the rate of one circuit board every 30 seconds,  the 
> purpose of the facilities is research, developing and support projects
> that can lead innovation, the lab's charter does not allow them to
> manufacture more units then the 10,000 because that would be "commercial
> production".  Therefore the university has a goal of freely licensing
> the design to companies for manufacture.
> Fifth, the university would be happy to host the mailing lists and
> forums of the Openmoko project.  If some of the software projects need
> hosting and can not find hosting services other places, the university
> will consider acting as a primary hosting facility for these projects.
> Sixth, personally I would like to see this concept extended, of inviting
> more universities and their facilities to help with this project
> world-wide.  I hope that the leadership of the University of Sao Paulo
> will help create the structure and inspiration for this to happen.
> Finally, the university has a non-profit legal entity, LSITEC, which can
> easily do the type of paperwork that Sean's company did (NDAs,
> certification) so the community can leverage off that.
> I know that there will be a lot of questions and considerations to take
> before the community is comfortable with this relationship.  Dr. Zuffo
> has asked that I help coordinate the joining together of the university
> with the community, and in the interest of seeing Openmoko continue to
> do the fine work started by Sean and all of you, I will be glad to help
> in this capacity.  I am monitoring the community mailing list, and
> people are also welcome to email me directly (maddog at with
> questions that you do not (for any reason) wish to post to the list.
> A copy of Dr. Zuffo's letter of intent is below.  I have the original
> PDF if anyone would like to see it, but it was too big to make it
> through the community's standards on mailing lists unmoderated, and I
> thought you might like to see this as soon as possible.
> Warmest regards,
> Jon "maddog" Hall
> President, Linux International
> CTO of Koolu, Inc.
> ==========================================================================================================
> São Paulo, 8th July 2009,
> Mr. Jon Maddog Hall
> The Executive Director Linux International.
> Dear Mr. Hall, according our conversation LSI-USP the Laboratory for
> Integrated Systems at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, is interested
> in hosting the OpenMoko Community to design innovative cell phone
> designs.
> We would like to offer the community the following facilities:
> ‐  State-of-art facilities for SMT (Surface Mounting Technology)
> prototyping of complex electronics boards;
> ‐  State-of-art facilities and expertise for design HW and SW in
> telephony and communications;
> ‐  Expertise in testing and certification;
> ‐  A new building located at a Center position at USP São Paulo, to host
> community meetings, as well as computational infrastructure for email ,
> WEB servers and project databases.
> -LSI has a long term expertise in designing complex electronics systems,
> including integrated circuits, and we would like to involve also our IC
> design team that could eventually design some components of the OpenMoko
> models.
> All legal procedures will be conducted by LSITEC, our non-profit
> organization to help technology developing.
> Finally I would like to be completely available for any further
> questions and discussion.
> My regards,
>                                        Marcelo Knörich Zuffo
>                                        Full Professor
>                                        Laboratory for Integrated Systems
>                                        University of São Paulo – Brazil
> _______________________________________________
> Openmoko community mailing list
> community at

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