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12 March 2013, 16:15

20 April is Hardware Freedom Day 2013

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Hardware Freedom Day

The organisers of Hardware Freedom Day (HFD) have selected 20 April as the date for the second HFD. The Hardware Freedom Day was started by the non-profit Digital Freedom Foundation (DFF) in 2012 to create a hardware version of the celebration of free software that is Software Freedom Day, also organised by the DFF. The organisation is already running events around the world which get people informed and involved with free software, open source and the communities that have developed around them. Hardware Freedom Day sets out to promote the idea of Open Hardware where people create physical objects based on designs which are shared without restrictions.

HFD are looking for supporters to promote the events, sponsors to support the day, organisers to put together and run events around the world and of course, people interested in attending those events. There are already a number of events registered around the world.

For example, one event in the UK is Chiphack being held over the two days of the weekend in question in London. The organisers will be teaching beginners how to program FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and introducing them to the world of HDL (hardware description languages) and FPGA workflows by working through hands-on exercises which start with an LED counter and move on to creating UART transmitters. Attendees will need to bring along an FPGA programmer, but the sponsors, Embecosm, have also arranged that the first five school teachers to register for the event will receive a donated DE0-Nano FPGA development board. There will also be a limited number of boards available to use during the event.

As of writing, there are 39 days to go before Hardware Freedom Day, so there's still plenty of time for potential organisers to create events for all skill levels; the HFD organisers have a Start Guide to help those organisers get started.


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