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OSHWA: Open-source hardware makers unite to start certifying products
In recent weeks, OSHWA met one of its initial goals: to start certifying open-source hardware. The goal of certification is to clearly identify open-source hardware separate from the mish-mash of other hardware products. The certification allows hardware designs to be replicated.
For certification, the Open Source Hardware Association requires hardware creators to publish a bill-of-materials list, software, schematics, design files, and other documents required to make derivative products. Those requirements could apply to circuit boards, 3D printed cases, electronics, processors, and any other hardware that meets OSHWA’s definition of open-source hardware.
When hardware makers fill out a legally binding agreement, they are allowed to use an Open Hardware mark. OSHWA will host a directory for all certified products, something that doesn’t exist today because the community is so fragmented.
Some notable open hardware products certified by OSHWA in just a few weeks include the BeagleBone Black Wireless and a number of other boards from SparkFun. The list will grow over the coming months. There are many open-source developer boards, like MinnowBoard, Orange Pi, and 96boards’ single-board-computers, that could be registered.
Products being certified also include 3D printed devices. 3D Central has certified 3D printable over-ear headphones and has published the print files, documented CAD, and assembly instructions.