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Reverse Engineering Mediatek MT6260 – the Fernvale project (from Bunnie Wang)
Even if we usually don’t point out to blogs in our news channel, this post from Bunnie Wang, creator of the Novena open source laptop and renowned hacker worldwide contains not only the great description of chinese “Gongkai” culture, but also a great example of reverse engineering applied to a MT6260 to create a reference hardware design called “Fernvale”. Really must read for all hardware hackers!
the Chinese have a parallel system of traditions and ethics around sharing IP, which lead me to coin the term “gongkai”. This is deliberately not the Chinese word for “Open Source”, because that word (kaiyuan) refers to openness in a Western-style IP framework, which this not. Gongkai is more a reference to the fact that copyrighted documents, sometimes labeled “confidential” and “proprietary”, are made known to the public and shared overtly, but not necessarily according to the letter of the law. However, this copying isn’t a one-way flow of value, as it would be in the case of copied movies or music. Rather, these documents are the knowledge base needed to build a phone using the copyright owner’s chips, and as such, this sharing of documents helps to promote the sales of their chips. There is ultimately, if you will, a quid-pro-quo between the copyright holders and the copiers.
via bunnie’s blog.