Radxa Rock Pro/Lite Is OSHW Now!


Tom Cubie is an ex Allwinner software developer who helped a lot in the beginning Linux-Sunxi community with information about Allwinner chips, when the initial Linux support was done.

He together with another Allwinner employee made Cubie Tech startup and start developing low cost Cubie boards with Allwinner chips.

At one point of time Tom become interested in Allwinner direct competitor – Rockchip, but it was problem to implement inside Cubie Tech board with Rockchip as this would cut all connections between Cubie Tech and Allwinner, so he decided to split and made new startup Radxa dealing only with Rockchip boards.

I know that Tom as being Linux developer loves in his heart Open Source, but at the same time he was very afraid to take the final step and move his projects as OSHW as in China everyone copy everything.

It’s common practice when you have successful product other companies to make inferior quality clones, made with lower quality and lower grade components but at lower than your price, and because many people look at China just as low cost source they prefer to buy the lower cost clones than the originals although most of these clones are pure junk, (but hey I got Allwinner board for $12.34 and Arduino clone for $1.23 on Alibaba!). This makes the business in China very difficult and everyone hides his designs and knowledge to have advantage toward the copycat competition.

This is also big obstracle for the OSHW movement in China, if you check on Kickstarter/Indiegogo all projects which come from China and claim to be Open Source Hardware are just marketing and pseudo OSHW they publish just the schematics as PDF file and eventually software sources, and “promise” to release everything when they complete the project … which usually never happens.

Let’s take as example the populart Vocore project which inspired RT5350F-OLinuXino 😉 they claim on Indiegogo this is OSHW project : https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vocore-a-coin-sized-linux-computer-with-wifi

They got funded, produced the boards and shipped them, on their site vocore.io you can read:

You will not only get the VoCore but also its full hardware design including sch, pcb, bom; full source code including boot loader, os(openwrt), applications. You are able to control EVERY BIT of your VoCore

then on download page you have access just to PDF files.

I write all this above just to show you what big step Tom decided to move forward yesterday! He wrote on G+ :


Here is the G+ original post.

Obviously Tom follow my blog posts and after my post yesterday for the differences between Pi and OLinuXino and what benefits OSHW gives to the Business he finally decided to go OSHW for his new Radxa Rock Pro/Lite design (at least looking at the commit timestamp). This is something I just could just applaude! Good work Tom and Welcome to OSHW movement!

Keep the good job going! Sharing the knowledge just increase our power!

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jonas Smedegaard
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 12:00:30

    Great! I now added these boards to https://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox/TargetedHardware


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Oct 24, 2014 @ 12:12:38

      @Jonas lot of boards on this page are marked as OSHW but they are not, you may need to read OSHW definition and correct these as this is misleading


  2. Jonas Smedegaard
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 13:23:25

    boards at that page are not marked as OSHW (a specific definition). No doubt this is an area you are more knowledgeable about than me, and I welcome you to help – e.g. by expanding the wiki page https://wiki.debian.org/open_hardware used as reference for those boards, or maybe by posting an email to freedombox-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org suggesting us to use OSHW specifically instead of current sloppy approach – clarifying why you believe that specific definition is the “proper” one for us to use.


  3. Jonas Smedegaard
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 13:28:15

    …and also, please do tell if some of the boards listed as “open hardware” do not fit any definition of that broader term. Telling me to “go read the definition” doesn’t really help to weed out such errors.

    What is done currently is list as oen hardware those that claim to be open hardware. Yes, I am aware that some can then cheat, and I would love to instead have some “approved” list to check instead. But when – as I understand it – there are multiple competing standards, it does not make sense to me to pick one of them.


  4. xxiao
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 15:59:04

    This issue with Raxda is the open source side from Rockchip regarding the software, how is that these days? I could not find much info there.


  5. Freire
    Oct 24, 2014 @ 23:40:07

    Now, all source are able to download from http://www.vocore.io/wiki/index/id:11, as I promised, once the package shipped, the code open.

    From: http://vonger.cn/?p=1458


  6. vienergie
    Oct 26, 2014 @ 11:39:13

    Reblogged this on vienergie.


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