Fishing for Users

Open Hardware – Turbot

© Lead Image © Bruce Rolff, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Bruce Rolff, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 202/2017
Author(s):

The MinnowBoard.org Foundation offers an open source single-board computer that is fast enough for professional use, but accessible for all user levels.

One of the main obstacles to open hardware is that the tools to make the tools are rarely available. Although many small motherboards exist, the specifications are not completely free-licensed in some cases. When motherboards are sourced, vendors often substitute them for a cheaper version, because they are more attuned to price than software freedom. However, the situation is slowly improving: witness the MinnowBoard.org Foundation's [1] recently released single-board Turbot computer [2], which includes a full set of specifications and free software from the firmware up (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The Turbot, the MinnowBoard.org Foundation's latest release, is open source from top to bottom.

Located in Beaverton, Oregon, the MinnowBoard.org Foundation is a nonprofit organization specializing in embedded computing on Intel architecture. The Foundation supports the Open Source Hardware Association [3] and makes its designs available for studying, modifying, distributing, and selling hardware based on that design. With an intended audience of both hobbyists and professionals, the Foundation also develops detailed tutorials that make its products broadly accessible.

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