Novena Whips Up An Open Source Laptop From Scratch

Serdar Yegulalp | InfoWorld | January 9, 2014

Novena Project aims to create an entirely open source laptop, from the iron down to the bits, and a prototype already exists

How hard is it to make your own laptop from scratch? That's what Bunnie Huang and Sean Cross decided to find out.

This week in Make magazine, Huang and Cross displayed the results of the first 18 months of their research: the Novena Project, an attempt to create a notebook computer using nothing but open source hardware and software. Cost wasn't a concern; making it thin and light weren't important either. What did matter was making something that was open, hackable, and reasonably useful.

The current iteration of the Novena uses a Freescale iMX6 CPU, an ARM Cortex A9 processor whose datasheet and programming manual require no NDA. For the display, Huang and Cross used a 13-inch, 2,560-by-1,700 (239 ppi) LED-backlit panel, along with 3D printing to help manufacture certain pieces of the chassis. [...]