FCC: No Ban On Open Source Firmware - InformationWeek

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FCC: No Ban On Open Source Firmware
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User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2015 | 4:38:07 PM
easier said than done
Supply chains are longer than ever, and hardware documentation isn't getting any better.  Some of these chips don't have any more documentation than was needed to get the first demo board built.  Even if you have NDAs in place and the executives of the two companies have ordered everyone to cooperate, it is still often impossible to get the kind of documentation everyone in this story believes should be forthcoming, because it was never generated in the first place.  (I've been in that position with some pretty big brand name chip makers.  One didn't have a current data sheet because of a labor dispute with the company it acquired to get the chip.  Another couldn't get me a data sheet because the chip manufacturer wouldn't share it with his tech support organization outside of Taiwan.  And that was 15 years ago.)  The information about the registers in the RF chip may only exist in a post-it note stuck to somebody's monitor.  Or it may never have been translated from Chinese to any Western language.  FCC may well be requiring a new level of documentation, one that is beyond the imaginations of the people and companies who design this hardware these days.  It's definitely far outside the current cultural norm in the industry.

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