New Life in Openmoko Phones
wolfgang at openmoko.com
Mon May 18 19:01:43 CEST 2009
(sorry for the cross-posting, I thought spreading the word about
gta02-core and new stuff from Openmoko was worth it...)
Today Openmoko released additional pieces of documentation about
Freerunner hardware: board outline, footprints and netlist.
Same as all other releases before - under Creative Commons Share-Alike
What is this and who is it for?
Well, definitely not for end users, not for software developers, not
even the typical kernel hacker.
The release contains cryptic text files containing data points about our
hardware - basically additional information complementing our
PDF-formatted schematics release last year.
The reason we released this is to support an exiting new project that
has emerged over the last few weeks - gta02-core.
"gta02-core is a community project to create a new hardware revision of
the gta02 hardware"
They chose a 100% GPL layout tool, KiCAD
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kicad), which uses only text-based files
hence they can be checked into typical revision control systems. Since
they are text, they are also 'scriptable', i.e. scripts can extract and
process data from the layout files.
Werner and Dave Ball got it rolling, and are currently working on the
re-layout of gta02 (http://docs.openmoko.org/trac/browser/trunk/gta02-core).
The way I see gta02-core is that it opens up a path to new, fully open
For the future of the software we are all working on right now - whether
it's the kernel, FSO, Paroli/Ophonekit, etc., we either need to design
new fully open hardware specifically for it, or we need to find ways to
hack into phones that are 'closed' by default (either accidentally or on
gta02-core focuses on the first option, and I hope will receive more
attention from the community, and definitely from Openmoko the company.
The path is long, even KiCAD itself may need improvements, but if a few
more people get interested and join, we may have new fully open phone
hardware in 6-12 months. No worries, in all this time of course the
Freerunners will remain available (we have enough in stock and are ready
for new production runs if necessary), and hopefully they continue to be
an interesting development platform for mobile free software projects.
Right now, if you want to join the revolution in open hardware
development, read the gta02-core wiki page carefully
(http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Gta02-core), and join the mailing list
(slightly confusingly named gta03 :-)) at
Then see where you can contribute - it's a wide open field with many
possible tasks, no matter which background you are coming from.
I'll see what I can do.
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