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Topic: Closed (ouch) or Open Hardware new Uno's ? (Read 24616 times) previous topic - next topic


Yeah. Well as a community I still think it'd be pretty easy especially if you consider the companies such as seeedstudio making boards who may be willing to fork out a bit for this (or more likely they'll buy their own VID

And there is the rub because any community effort to get a community controlled ID, which isnt needed at all to continue to use the Arduino the same way it has been used all along, will fall victim to the same panic driven questions that have been raised here only more so, because it will also be somewhat politically charged (user groups always are)

Hey I put up more money then he did, why do they get that choice over this choice, hey they are now a commercial company instead of the guy that was tinkering around he should pay back the people that bought it so he can still use his one or two ids while we still have all the rest.

Hey why is so and so in control of the data, heyt someone needs to take control of the database from so and so hes not answering email, so and so dosent like me and wont give me an id for my competing so and so.

Who is going to administer it, why does so and so get to have it at his site, because now so and so now gets the extra traffic for his shop so and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on.........ad nauseum


Sep 28, 2010, 11:25 pm Last Edit: Sep 28, 2010, 11:29 pm by ThatBozGuy Reason: 1
So, lets go programming a Ethernet Bootloader

Yup already done and almost here. From the new hardware announcement...


under Ethernet Hardware
We have incorporated some of the feedback we got from the last ethernet shield and have created a new bootloader that lets you upload code to the board via TFTP and discover them on the network via a broadcast protocol.

Sound much like an ether version of the Illuminato

It could discover every Illuminato board plugged into itself and program it in a hive mind fashion, master to slave and back again.



Sep 28, 2010, 11:50 pm Last Edit: Sep 28, 2010, 11:55 pm by Eight Reason: 1

Whilst I see where you're coming from - the USB-IF licensing prevents anyone from dishing out PIDs etc. like that. Essentially, the people who formed a consortium (or whatever) would be the only ones entitled to use that vendor ID.

Edit: and they would most likely have to be allocated among the members immediately.

Fundamentally, you're asking questions that noone has even started discussing yet. We're still at the stage of talking about whether it could be done and whether it'd be useful. The kind of details you're talking about would be a looooonnnnggg way off.

So a lot of what you're suggesting just couldn't occur. And lot of problems you *arent* suggesting, would occur. :)

And you say it isn't needed to "use the Arduino the same way it has been used all along"? We're not talking about using Arduinos here, we're talking about building them (and selling them). And if, as a builder, you adopt the 8u2 as your transfer chip, you're going to need something in the VID/PID combination.

Now whether that's your own or ATMEL's or whatever, one thing seems quite clear - you can't use Arduino's.


Sep 28, 2010, 11:57 pm Last Edit: Sep 29, 2010, 12:20 am by Eight Reason: 1
Incidently though, the loading and comms via Ethernet is a bloody good call.

Something to think about.

[edit]And that Illuminato is gorgeous... I have a serious case of board envy right now[/edit]


Sep 29, 2010, 12:22 am Last Edit: Sep 29, 2010, 12:57 am by ThatBozGuy Reason: 1
We're not talking about using Arduinos here, we're talking about building them. And if, as a builder, you adopt the 8u2 as your transfer chip, you're going to need something in the VID/PID combination.

Sorry I was wearing two hats and did'nt make it clear which one was speaking when in that post ;D I was just trying to point out the futility of a community ID, because it was being discussed as IF PID could be dished out on demand if it was bought by a community.

Sorry if I was too many steps ahead, thats one of my big flaws/advantages :o (more flaw than advantage most times GRIN)

I to am a a derivative board builder and actually held off development on a final build/release for almost month ( it was slated to go to pcb the day they started teasing something cooking ) to make sure there wasn't some dramatic change, saturday I woke up and thought I had lost months worth of work and that it was going to screw my new to me biz model (open source hardware) and I, like some people here are still maintaining, thought there goes the baby with the bath water they just closed the door just as I got started.

But an hour later, after going over specs and looking into the available info I knew what should be common knowledge at this point, this is just a concept panic and not a real world problem or issue.

The FTDI chip in my circuit ( same in everyone elses and most Arduinos ) had the same capability of using VID/PID to lock feature sets by identity ( with a few extra components ) The 8U2 has those components as part of the package built in.

That is the only difference in reality even to board builders, because is STILL NOT GOING TO BE USED to lock things up, just because it is there AND CAN lock out features or close source trees or change the fact that it is open source hardware Massimo himself has said its not going that route and yet the panic continues.  

Even though the 8U2 is MORE OPEN and programmable and even has a hardware access built into the board to program away anything the Arduino team puts in it, the thought panic continues.

The only thing this adds up to is the Arduino team decided to take and use an available piece of hardware in the new chipset and set a NEW STICKER in hardware, serving the same function as the made in Italy sticker and the new silkscreen graphics on the boards, no board builder except them can use any of those things, and would have to have their own or not have any at all. You do not HAVE to have your own VID/PID any more than you have to have your own patent, registering it is just another form of identification. You can build away and operate with out the registration, you just need to not conflict with an existing one, ON THE SAME COM CHAIN, not even the whole world, just your little part of the world or any of your end users part of the world if your a board builder, thats thousands of combinations of difference to not worry about.

But the panicing and discussion of "solutions to stop what the Arduino team has done to us mentality" in much of the reasoning is completely the opposite and counterproductive to the nature of the Open Hardware and Open Source point and in general is just confusing the hell out some people and scaring them just when they should be getting excited and enjoying the new fruits of the Arduino community and the Arduino development Teams efforts.

Ok that was longer and rantier than it should have been and I will shut up now ::)



Sep 29, 2010, 12:37 am Last Edit: Sep 29, 2010, 12:40 am by Eight Reason: 1
I think the initial concerns about the openness of the changes have generally been more or less dealt with. Speaking for myself alone, I have no issue whatsoever with the direction the Arduino team have gone in.

There is just the slight complexity regarding if you built a board to sell, and wanted to use the same 8u2 chip (and it's source) then what would you do about VIDs etc?

But I don't see any panic about it - I really don't. It's just a discussion - there have been some concerns raised, and many concerns quashed by good info. Maybe the nature of things means it looks to have more pace and urgency than anyone is intending.

Anyway, don't shut up. :) If you've built derivative boards then your comments are exactly what is needed - since that's the end we're talking about. Do you see yourself sticking with the FTDI for the forseeable future? Obviously there's only so far into the future anyone can see, and who knows what great things Arduino will do with the 8u2 to make everyone feel the need to start using it themselves.


Sep 29, 2010, 12:53 am Last Edit: Sep 29, 2010, 01:13 am by ThatBozGuy Reason: 1
Do you see yourself sticking with the FTDI for the forseeable future?

Yeah in review I think the FTDI is going to hang in in only a slightly less prominent position for quite some time, probably years even.

I have already ordered my first chunk of 8u2s and to be honest it just added another diversification to my product line, barebones, FTDI, LUFA vs the previous barebones, USB classification.

And just like the Arduino team I hope to save some parts cost in the long run if the supply chain ever stabilizes, although I do have an advantage there as I can see ATMEL corporate headquarters from my evil mountain top lair/hackerspace and have an in  ;D, but the new part of the circuit will pretty much drop right in where the ftdi already is so no big either way.

So the short answer is yes I see the FTDI sticking but the diversity will come when people start adopting UNO specific 328s because that is where the real fork is for me.


Jeff K

Sep 29, 2010, 02:21 am Last Edit: Sep 29, 2010, 02:24 am by intermelt Reason: 1
In the next hour or so I will have www.openVID.org setup.  Its first goal will be making a consortium of users that will end up having control of a USB VID dedicated to the Arduino community.  No matter what the direction the Arduino team decides to go with their VID, I think this will still be useful.

If you are interested in donating or helping with the project, please visit the site for more info.
Jeff K - JKDevices.com - home of the MegaMini


Sep 29, 2010, 02:34 am Last Edit: Sep 29, 2010, 03:38 am by ThatBozGuy Reason: 1
And so it begins..........time will tell the tale

Hey eight I wasn't that many steps ahead after all GRIN


@boz: Exactly my conclusions as well.  "Much ado about nothing."

Interestingly, it was only a couple years ago that various commercial entities would drop FTDI USB chips on their boards to give USB connectivity to essentially serial-based products, while FTDI chips were very difficult to obtain for the hobbyist community (only available through one distributor with not-particularly-hobby-friendly status, IIRC.)


Do you see yourself sticking with the FTDI for the forseeable future?

yes... or perhaps move on to the mcp2200

As for the 8U, i'm having serious concerns after looking at the uno, it comes in one of those weird packaged where the solder pads are underneath(like the mma7260) now if this is the only package available, then soldering costs will go up, if say a dip package is available, then the board size is going to go up neither of this might reduce the cost in comparsion to FTDI - not atleast to any significant extent(FTDI is now available more easily!)

On a deeper thought, Perhaps its better that work continues on the bootloader to keep FTDI up than on the VID / PID. Its just an ID after all!
Be The Change...


The best solution is if the Arduino team simply allocates just one of the 65533 remaining PIDs they control, solely for use by Arduino-compatible board makers to distribute freely with the standard 8u2 firmware, and at some later date possibly to be identified as a non-official Arduino compatible device in the Arduino IDE.

It would be as easy as Massimo saying "All you non-official Arduino-like producers may use PID 0xd00d" and the fact that he has specifically addressed this suggestion with refusal implies a desire to restrict and channel the market. Which is fully within their rights as a business, however it is a distinct move away from the old policies of openness that earned them the support and respect of the community. My opinion is that trademark enforcement was enough of an effort to recapture the brand.

Giving one 16bit number away cannot hurt Arduino's current business model, but it could hurt a future business model where they desire to be more restrictive...thus the cause for the community rumblings. If this is all a misunderstanding and the Arduino team might actually allocate such a PID, then it would be a good idea to come forward with this information soon. Or if it's exactly what we think, then upfront honesty would also be appreciated.

I'm liking the cheap new Microchip MCP2200 USB-serial converter. Available in a range of footprints, comparable or better specs than FT232RL, and less than $2 in single quantities. You may use their default PID or apply for a free sublicense PID which expires when you have sold 10,000 units.
Unique RGB LED Modules and Arduino shields: http://www.macetech.com/store


I'm liking the cheap new Microchip MCP2200 USB-serial converter

good tip, I was just looking at options and totally missed that one for a personal board



The MCP2200 is a good chip for one off or personal use but it has known driver issues on several windows platforms. So its fine where you have control of the operating system, but it really would add a whole bunch of support issues in in a board public distribution.

With all the connection issues already one of the single most prolific issue postings in regard to the Arduino on the board, I wouldn't want to add it to a larger mix in a board I was selling.


The MCP2200 is a good chip for one off or personal use but it has known driver issues on several windows platforms. So its fine where you have control of the operating system, but it really would add a whole bunch of support issues in in a board public distribution.

Could you elaborate on these issues and where they are occurring? The MCP2200 is a CDC protocol chip, so if there is a Windows-side driver issue it should also be present with the 8u2 CDC implementation. Or at least the MCP2200 problems could be resolved by editing the INF.
Unique RGB LED Modules and Arduino shields: http://www.macetech.com/store

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