pwillard: Surmise:“Your opinion of how Arduino evolved”
Projects like Arduino would not have taken off if it weren’t for a few free goodies oiling the wheels. The most obvious factors are the cost savings for two key elements which enabled a developer community:
The free GNU AVR C compiler, running on all host platforms. Ten years ago, you’d be paying GB£600 for a good compiler.
Eagle PCB software with a free “not for profit” edition, running on all host platforms. Normally this costs anywhere between GB£700 to GB£3000, depending upon the capability.
Add to this an IDE for all host platforms, and you have a wonderfully successful formula.
The rest of the story is pretty run-of-the-mill for projects in academia.
Jef k: Re:“If this information is available, it may not be as useful as you think.”
All that’s required is a proportional representation of the market, and for that data to be truthful - you can be satisfied with that and some assumptions about the Italian / Far East manufacturing split.
The official line from the Arduino team is that you have to call your Arduino clones “Arduino compatible” - you may not call them “Arduino” or imply that they are official/genuine. Also, suppliers are told that if they want to sell genuine boards made in Italy, there is a minimum order take. With the clones being up to 50% cheaper, what do you think happens?
Herein lies the problem with Opensource hardware. The Arduino team make their boards in their own factory, but because they published the design, they soon get beaten up at their own game by manufacturers in the Far East who produce clones ten to a penny. The reason is that not all people respect the ecology. The reality is a diminished revenue stream for the Arduino team.
Imahilus: Re:“Poor assumtion”
Yes both hardware and software have inherent development cost. But you cannot download physical hardware can you? Hardware additionally has a cost of producing it in physical form. And besides, it was the “softies” who came up with Opensource in the first place! ;op
So no, I don’t agree. I think I need to defend the value of hardware developers, because as some people assume incorrectly that it is just about discrete components being put together. There is a lot more skill to it than you’re seeing, believe me. The couple of cents diode is that price because it is the result of hardware engineers spending years to perfect the manufacturing process.
I do agree with you about it being a good prototyping platform.