gta02-core (was Re: OM future)

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Thu Feb 25 12:47:35 CET 2010

On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 11:16:46 +0000 Wolfgang Spraul <wolfgang at> said:

> Ghislain,
> > They showed how the process is done, from the beginning to the end (I don't
> > know about the funding).
> even that is open :-) (scroll down to second part)

and it's rather cute. :)

> > Although it's not a phone, I do have a working ultra-portable now for a
> > reasonable price :) (It just needs some software-ports, but that is part of
> > the fun).
> Phone is super hard. I finally agree with rasterman on something and share
> most of what he said earlier in this thread about the economics of getting
> an 'open' hardware project going. It's tough. And the phone is the toughest
> of them all.

wow! woflgang... we agree? next the earth will spin backwards... :)
(seriously- nice work on nanonote. i'm just being harshly realistic here to
not let people get too optimistic - all for open devices... but its hard.
hyper-hard if its a phone. the simpler the device, the easier it is).

> OpenPandora took 4000 pre-orders and financed it that way, hopefully they
> will make it, they still have a long way to go, product wise and company wise.

indeed. 4000 orders at $330 each - no modem to deal with either and much less
pain wrt RF and miniaturisation to make it small. thats $1.3mil in the bank
just to get it oign.. and then it's still 1.5 years and no product. a phone to
make 40k units would be easily double that - if not triple. and thats 2g only.
3g will bump that up again. i did the sums - to do an open phone equivalent to
iphone/pal pre/n900 etc. world - it'd cost about $13mil - and that was to get
to being profitable (ie your profits now pay to run the operation. so u'd need
to find $13mil of money to make it happen. otherwise u will eventually run
yourself out of money and cease operation. $13mil would get you over the hump -
just. this is why i too gave up on trying to do an open phone - the money
needed was just astronomical. and that money didnt include marketing, sales,
logisitcs, etc. etc. - it assumes word-of-mouth publicity (and hoping to get
onto digg/reddit/slashdot etc.), an expensive $600-700 or so unit price and
direct sales - not allowing for margins for resellers.

(wolfgang - would i be far off the mark here? i don't think so).

> For the phone, what do you guys think about the osmocom project by Harald
> and friends?

interesting - from a research point of view. the real question is.. what is
the reality of getting it onto a real 3g (hspa+) or lte capable chipset in the
future. even then there is the fear that the hw is so raw and able to be
squeeze by code, that such code should never be open as mobile networks are
very fragile - and no company wants to be known as the one that sells phones
that can easily bring down the telcos networks with some malicious firmware.

the best i see here is firmware being open, but its signed and only signed
binaries get run - do in the end this thwarts a major goal of being open
anyway. i wish it would be better, but i wouldnt hold out a lot of hope here
beyond this being a cool research project or ending up as above - signed only
binaries will run. :(

> >From what I understand so far, they will continue to hack their way to make
> a GPL GSM stack work with Calypso RF/DSP chips, and later maybe MTK chips.
> The RF chips themselves are way out of reach for any of us (to make our own
> open version), even way harder than the GPL'ed Milkymist SoC I think we will
> get eventually [1] [2].
> So to build a phone around osmocom, we have to reuse MTK RF/DSP chips?
> Anybody interested in financing it? :-)
> raster - do you want to pre-order one osmocom phone for 1M USD as you said?

hahahahaha.. yeah right :) thats my point :) the prices get so silly in small
volume - u'd have to be a mark shuttleworth to do this. i am not in that league
by a long shot :) if theres a multi-squillionaire floating here with nothing
better to do with their money.. by all means! make this elusive open phone! it
can be done - price tag above for a modern one (map3 based, 3g hspa module
etc.) is about $13mil. get that money together and you have a shot. :)

> You have OpenPandora experience already, this one could only be better.
> On steroids! What do you think?
> Wolfgang
> [1]
> [2]

if you can get your milkymist as an asic with good speed - we might be talking.
add in a good cotrex-a8 soc.. and you have a possible open acceleration engine
(can be used for 3d, 2d etc.) and a powerful soc - u can leave out the 3d unit
from it so not to confuse people (or keep it in for those that are happy with a
closed driver). but again - need the pot of gold above :)

> On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 02:36:22AM -0800, ghislain wrote:
> > 
> > What about the Ben NanoNote (
> > They showed how the process is done, from the beginning to the end (I don't
> > know about the funding).
> > Although it's not a phone, I do have a working ultra-portable now for a
> > reasonable price :) (It just needs some software-ports, but that is part of
> > the fun).
> > 
> > Ghislain
> > BaseTrend  -
> > 
> > -- 
> > View this message in context:
> >
> > Sent from the Openmoko Community mailing list archive at
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > Openmoko community mailing list
> > community at
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Openmoko community mailing list
> community at

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The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler)    raster at

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