July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Building the $9 computer, or how I learned to stop worrying and love embedded Linux

Dave Rauchwerk (Next Thing Co)
4:10pm–4:50pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Design D139/140
Average rating: ****.
(4.71, 7 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Functional conceptual understanding of Linux, single board computers, GNU build tools


1GHz ARM Cortex A8, 512MB RAM, 4GB NAND Flash, WiFi, Bluetooth – and it’s completely open source. Also, it costs $9. See how, why, and what it means for the future of open hardware.

Building C.H.I.P.

  • History of building OTTO
  • China and Linux
  • Building Linux for OTTO
  • What we learned (it’s really hard)

What are the requirements?

  • Applications
  • Specs for devices
  • Mainline Linux OS
  • Fast-boot the kernel!


  • Linux on all the things!
  • Hacking the planet
  • Computers for everyone

But how?

  • It really costs $9
  • Tablets and the Shenzhen scale machine
  • Semiconductor manufacturers and mainline Linux
  • Big semi and open source

Wrap-up and One More Thing…

Photo of Dave Rauchwerk

Dave Rauchwerk

Next Thing Co

Dave Rauchwerk is a builder of hardware and software. He is a HAXLR8R ‘14 Alum. Dave is a founder of @NextThingCo, makers of OTTO and C.H.I.P., the world’s first $9 computer.