Creating a ‘free’ smartphone

Lessons learned from three years R&D

Track 4 Open Source Hardware
14:0013/11/2020

There is the saying, hardware is hard. It’s true and it’s even harder to create hardware that honors the ideas and ethics of free software. The ultimate hardware challenge these days is building a smartphone.
If hardware wouldn’t be challenging enough the software stack to run on it following the same principles isn’t any easier. The majority of smartphone stacks are not free, at least not fully – radio stacks (esp. cellular), graphics acceleration (GPU), media acceleration (VPU) etc. Striving for RYF rules out a lot of hard- and software choices. And even more a lot of necessary plumbing is simply missing in the free software world.

The presentation will highlight some key issues and how we tackled them.

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