SparkFun’s Chris Taylor: Community Key To Open-Source Hardware

Suzanne Deffree and Chris Taylor | EDN Network | April 4, 2013

When it comes down to it, engineer and seven-year SparkFun Electronics veteran Chris Taylor believes anything can be open source, to be shared and improved. He recently spoke with EDN about open-source hardware (OSH). He will be speaking more on this subject as part of the Open Source Hardware Panel Discussion on April 23 at DESIGN West, hosted by UBM Tech. Register here.

Does open-source hardware have a place in the world of professional engineering?

That’s a complicated question. There will always be a place for open source in the professional market because, in many people’s opinions, it’s the way to prototype. You can start from the ground up with whatever you are designing, or you can take a little bit from open-source companies that have already done the work and written the tutorials, and build up whatever prototype you are designing and go through the design phases a lot faster.

Where that gets complicated is open-source licensing. That is still nebulous. For example, the hardware could have a different license than the software or the firmware.