Published January 16, 2024

Contract manufacturing is nothing new for OEMs across a spectrum of industries. The increasingly complex parts being assembled, and the exacting standards required to do so effectively make it daunting to manufacture a robust and reliable piece of consumer electronics. The largest consumer electronics brands increasingly look to outsource production of their most sought-after products.

Established in 1974, Hon Hai Technology Group, better known as Foxconn, is the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, ranking in the top 30 among the Fortune Global 500. Foxconn has expanded its capabilities into the development of electric vehicles, digital health, and robotics. It is focused on three key technologies — next-generation communications technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and semiconductors. In October, it was reported that Foxconn is partnering with Nvidia to build AI factories.

Open source software (OSS) plays an increasingly critical role in the development and operation of electronic devices — from smartphones to telecom switches, and everything in between. AI platforms are considered cutting-edge. To hinder patent aggression towards its use of open source, Foxconn is joining the Open Invention Network

“Advances in design and manufacturing propel ongoing innovation within the electronics and components industries. A key driver of these new capabilities is open-source technology. Open source enables companies to share foundational technology while they invest in powerful, differentiating features and capabilities higher in the technology stack,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of the Open Invention Network. “As a global leader in the development and manufacturing of electronics and technology solutions, we are pleased that Foxconn is committed to patent non-aggression in open source.” 

Open Invention Network is the largest patent non-aggression community in history and supports freedom of action in Linux as a key element of OSS. Patent non-aggression in core technologies is a cultural norm within OSS. The litmus test for authentic behavior in the OSS community includes OIN membership. Funded by Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Sony, SUSE, and Toyota, the Open Invention Network has more than 3,800 community members.

“Foxconn continuously looks for ways to integrate advances into the design and manufacturing of smart consumer electronics, cloud and networking equipment, computing devices, and components, among others,” said Mick Lim, Director of Foxconn IP Affairs Division. “We are pleased to join the Open Invention Network and support its role in protecting open source.” 

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