The Exceptionally Hard & Soft Meeting (EHSM) explores the outer limits of open source hardware and software. The conference takes place in Berlin, 28-30 December 2012.

If you’re into reverse engineering microchips, building your own nuclear fusion reactor or getting your hands on hardware designs used by CERN, Berlin is where you should celebrate the end of 2012.

At EHSM the most amazing open source hardware projects come together:

Keynote speaker Will Jack is a seventeen year old high school student who builds nuclear fusion reactors in his basement. He’ll speak about Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion reactors and how he developed them.

CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, will be represented by Evangelia Gousiou. She’ll discuss CERN’s open source hardware initiatives. The Open Source Hardware Repository, a place where electronics designers can collaborate on open hardware designs and the CERN Open Hardware License, a hardware equivalent of the GNU GPL free software license.

Ben Krasnow, mechanical and electrical engineer at video game company Valve, will be presenting his X-ray backscatter imaging system (airport body scanner) built from parts found on eBay.

John McMaster discusses The site hosts a wealth of information on integrated circuit (IC) reverse engineering (RE) techniques as well as specific chip info. This talk explores the site's resources by going through the process of removing an IC from a circuit board to creating a schematic. While most hardware RE talks focus on results from analyzing a specific system, this instead focuses on techniques to enable others to learn more about the art.

Initiator of EHSM is Sébastien Bourdeauducq founder of the Milkymist project. The project produced the Milkymist One, an open source video synthesizer. It is most famous for its System-on-Chip (SoC) that comes with a free Hardware Description Language (HDL) source code. A more recent Milkymist spin off is Migen, a python toolbox for building complex digital hardware.

Everyone is welcome to attend EHSM. Curiosity is enough to qualify.

For those who can’t make it to Berlin, a live video stream of the meeting will be available.

Image: Jasper Nance: Microsecond high speed photography and scanning electron microscope