resetnos
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:47 pm

A few months back i saw you guys post a schematic of the RPi .. .. is your design opensource on the hardware ?..

meaning can i take the board specs and build my own custom version of your board design

sourcing my own chips..

thank you

Kernel
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:55 pm

resetnos said:


A few months back i saw you guys post a schematic of the RPi .. .. is your design opensource on the hardware ?..

meaning can i take the board specs and build my own custom version of your board design

sourcing my own chips..

thank you



According to Eben eventually the design will be released so that others can make it (I can't recall if you need to pay a royalty or not)

But in order to get Broadcom to sell you the chips directly you would need to buying a very large number plus sign Non disclosure agreements etc.

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Jessie
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:10 pm

Im sure that they will make sure to pay back the loans they took out before releasing the schematics. It wouldn"t make any sense to shoot themselves in the foot. After the schematics are released every country with lax copyright laws will start churning them out. Also there are legal issues that would have to be worked out.

Smartybones
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:52 pm

The foundation could publish the schematics of the board right now and I doubt it would make much difference.

first of all, getting the chips, you would have to buy a million or more chips. that would need a bucket load of money. Second, producing the board again is going to cost a small fortune... Third even if they could build the boards and sell them, then they would have to sell them cheaper than the foundation. and as the foundation are not making any profit, that's going to be next to impossible.  They would have to sell a lot of boards to make any sort of profit.

add to the mix that most people would actually buy something from a charity or to aid a charity for a £1 or so more than the cheap retailer on ebay !

hippy
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:06 pm

Smartybones said:

Third even if they could build the boards and sell them, then they would have to sell them cheaper than the foundation. and as the foundation are not making any profit, that's going to be next to impossible.  They would have to sell a lot of boards to make any sort of profit.
There are people prepared to pay a premium for an R-Pi in a different form factor or more suited to their needs than the current boards. How many I wouldn't like to guess but a more commercially usable board could attract the attention of quantity users.

If someone can hit the right RRP with the right profit margins and get enough market share they would have a viable product.

I think anyone competing with the R-Pi would likely take the R-Pi concept but design their own boards around their own favoured SoC. As I've noted before; there are digital picture frames and tablets which with a bit of redesign could offer what the R-Pi does and even more.

If someone produced an R-Pi like clone but with VGA as well; how many would prefer to pay £30 extra and re-use an old monitor they already have than invest in something new with HDMI ? How much would people pay for a tablet-style R-Pi with a touch screen ? The opportunities are out there.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:24 am

hippy said:


If someone produced an R-Pi like clone but with VGA as well; how many would prefer to pay £30 extra and re-use an old monitor they already have than invest in something new with HDMI ? How much would people pay for a tablet-style R-Pi with a touch screen ? The opportunities are out there.


I would just pay £30 for the readily available HDMI->VGA adapters but the point still stands about different form factors and features.

I'm sure that it won't be long before some RPi clones come along given the success of the in many ways similar arduino

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ArborealSeer
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:47 am

Smartybones said:



first of all, getting the chips, you would have to buy a million or more chips. that would need a bucket load of money.


Is that definitely the case? or is it just that the chips price break points are a lot higher for lesser quantities? That sounds a lot more plausible.

The only place I've seen that said is on here by other forum members.

Anyways, I'm sure a "boutique" version (gold plated box etc) and a "modders" version (with all headers and sockets to replace parts) would be very popular.
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hayesey
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Smartybones said:


The foundation could publish the schematics of the board right now and I doubt it would make much difference.

first of all, getting the chips, you would have to buy a million or more chips. that would need a bucket load of money. Second, producing the board again is going to cost a small fortune... Third even if they could build the boards and sell them, then they would have to sell them cheaper than the foundation. and as the foundation are not making any profit, that's going to be next to impossible.  They would have to sell a lot of boards to make any sort of profit.


actually, the charity wont show a profit on it's balance sheet at the year end, this doesn't mean each Pi board doesn't make money.  It's perfectly possible that someone can make similar boards and turn enough profit to make it a viable business.  China is very good at this.  Probably not using a Broadcom chipset.


add to the mix that most people would actually buy something from a charity or to aid a charity for a £1 or so more than the cheap retailer on ebay !


You'd be surprised.  There's enough people who would indeed rather save £1 than help a charitable cause.

I think it's fairly inevitable that we will see clone products from the far east, it happens with just about any gadget/technology device.  Look at the alibaba.com website, you can search for just about any computer related product you can think of and you'll get a raft of clone products come up.  They care not about copyright

This is why companies like Broadcom are so careful with their technical details and are not likely to open source their drivers.  It's the only thing stopping other companies from cloning their products.

But I'd not worry too much about it, there's no point.  The massive amounts of iPad clones doesn't seem to have hurt Apple much.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:02 pm

ArborealSeer said:


Smartybones said:



first of all, getting the chips, you would have to buy a million or more chips. that would need a bucket load of money.


Is that definitely the case? or is it just that the chips price break points are a lot higher for lesser quantities? That sounds a lot more plausible.

The only place I've seen that said is on here by other forum members.


I think you would need a minimum  volume to make it worthwhile for Broadcom to sell you the chips - probably at least 10k. Then take in to account price breaks for quantities.
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:11 pm

ArborealSeer said:


Smartybones said:


first of all, getting the chips, you would have to buy a million or more chips. that would need a bucket load of money.


Is that definitely the case? or is it just that the chips price break points are a lot higher for lesser quantities? That sounds a lot more plausible.

The only place I've seen that said is on here by other forum members.


I think it's 100,000 rather than a million below which Broadcom don't want to know. NVIDIA have the same minimum limit for TEGRA chipsets although they do have partners who can supply smaller quantities. I don't know if Broadcom have similar arrangements with partners.

The forum members who first mentioned the minimum limits work for Broadcom and members of the foundation will have had talks with Broadcom about how many RPi's they expected to produce[1] and I'd expect the normal minimum limit would have been a starting point for that.

[1] Ha - they got that wrong.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:21 pm

The schematics are only for educational purpose and entertainment I guess. No one in this world can use them to produce another raspberry pi as those with the financial aid to get the components probably also have the financial aid to develop their own circuit board which better suits their needs. I can understand Wise, Citrix, IBM, Gigabyte or whoever builds thin-clients these days would be extremely interested in building a raspberry-ripoff to build ridiculously cheap thin clients, though all of those companies are well enough equipped to design their own circuit boards.

If the schematics are ever released, I'd want to hang them on my wall as a wicked form of extreme modern art.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:23 pm

I know from experience how 'the little guy' gets affected by stuff like this.

As well as our own stuff the company i work for produces a variety of bespoke (off the website) devices in our specialist field for other companies and amongst those was one which used a chip with certain features. once a heavy hitter started using it we got squeezed out of buying them because the heavy hitter didn't want them in general circulation and they were buying big number and had enough clout to pull that kind of thing. i think we survived the lifespan by sourcing them from the gray market.
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:16 pm

DeliciousRaspberryCake said:


If the schematics are ever released, I'd want to hang them on my wall as a wicked form of extreme modern art.


I have got the main-board of my very first IBM compatible PC I ever had, mounted and framed on the wall in my office. My first RPI will also end up mounted and framed...

the foundation has several images on the website (like the one below) that they have released that wound be suitable for some form of wall art, or could be used as a base for some wall art.  I am sure there will be no problem using the images for a non commercial piece of work, particularly if its just going to sit on your wall.  but ask first !






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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:17 pm

DeliciousRaspberryCake said:


The schematics are only for educational purpose and entertainment I guess. No one in this world can use them to produce another raspberry pi as those with the financial aid to get the components probably also have the financial aid to develop their own circuit board which better suits their needs. I can understand Wise, Citrix, IBM, Gigabyte or whoever builds thin-clients these days would be extremely interested in building a raspberry-ripoff to build ridiculously cheap thin clients, though all of those companies are well enough equipped to design their own circuit boards.

If the schematics are ever released, I'd want to hang them on my wall as a wicked form of extreme modern art.


One does have to wonder why these sorts of companies haven't done this already - they have access to all the required components and design skills.
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:23 pm

I read somewhere in a post from the foundation they actually *hope* the Pi gets cloned.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:48 pm

JamesH said:


One does have to wonder why these sorts of companies haven't done this already - they have access to all the required components and design skills.


Failure of imagination?

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:53 pm

Jessie said:


After the schematics are released every country with lax copyright laws will start churning them out.


The schematics are going to be pretty simple, there's not much on the board. A competent engineer could design something similar in a day or two of work. People are interested because it will tell them how their hardware is working and how to work with it and integrate well with it. If folks are interested in cloning it, they've already started design work, likely around a different chip.

hayesey said:

It's perfectly possible that someone can make similar boards and turn enough profit to make it a viable business.
If the Foundation (and RS/Farnell) isn't taking a loss on the boards, then the Chinese should be able to do it cheaper without much difficulty. They're all about low-margin, they're good at being successful at it, and it would save a lot of logistics cost. I'm pretty confident it's going to happen. I also expect to see at least one of the other big SoC vendors jump in, my bet is on TI, but it could be ST or Renesas who have all spent considerable energy and money to capitalize on the maker/hacker/experimenter market - and who are also more vertical than the RPF can be, leaving extra room for profit.


You'd be surprised.  There's enough people who would indeed rather save £1 than help a charitable cause.


I'd pay more than a £1 to support hardware that is actually free and open, much sooner than I'd pay a £1 to support a charity in a foreign (developed) country .


This is why companies like Broadcom are so careful with their technical details and are not likely to open source their drivers.  It's the only thing stopping other companies from cloning their products.


Clones, pretty much be definition, would be using Broadcom parts. They'd profit just as much as they do from the official Pi, if not more, they're selling parts. By not selling to this market, they're losing the business to other SoC vendors that are more open. Though who knows how much they make on backroom competitor exclusion contracts.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:30 pm

poing said:


I read somewhere in a post from the foundation they actually *hope* the Pi gets cloned.


That's correct; "We do hope third parties will be able to manufacture clones", "We would like nothing more than some company in China to make a million of these".

And it's effectively what they've done in getting Farnell and RS on-board as licensees to manufacture what the Foundation would themselves have otherwise had to manufacture.

Of course there's a difference in a genuine clone, an exact copy, and the same R-Pi in a slightly different form factor or with some alterations but it seems both could all be facilitated.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:47 pm

error404 said:


I'd pay more than a £1 to support hardware that is actually free and open, much sooner than I'd pay a £1 to support a charity in a foreign (developed) country .


Foreign *developed* country?

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:57 pm

Well I"d be more likely to support a charity in a poverty-stricken country than one in the UK. In case it's not obvious, I'm not in the UK, so if I'm going to base my choices on supporting a developed-world charity, I'm going to care much more about one in Canada.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:18 pm

At the risk of going OT, we must campaign to stop RPi's being sold in Canada as they don't want their kids to learn to program on cheap accessible hardware

error404
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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:09 pm

Well, given the thrust of the thread, there would be a £1 cheaper solution to choose that is at least as open as Raspberry Pi.

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Re: Raspberry pi open source software.. and proprietary hardware ?

Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:31 pm

error404 said:


Well, given the thrust of the thread, there would be a £1 cheaper solution to choose that is at least as open as Raspberry Pi.


Wassat then?

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