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Music Open Source Hardware

Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon 99

Posted by timothy
from the for-finger-painting-in-public dept.
lekernel writes "After years of passionate and engaging development, the video synthesizer from the Milkymist project is expected to go out of beta in August. Dubbed 'Milkymist One,' it features as central component a system-on-chip made exclusively of IP cores licensed under the open source principles, and is aimed at use by a general audience of video performance artists, clubs and musicians. It is one of the first consumer electronics products putting forward open source semiconductor IP, open PCB design and open source software at the same time. The full source code is available for download from Github, and a few hardware kits are available from specialized electronics distributors."
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

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  • Meh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:09PM (#36089078)

    Just slapping "OPEN!" on something doesn't make me wanna buy. For $500 I get a device that (someday when the software gets written) will process standard def video? And output VGA? Really? In 2011?

    Yes it is nice that everything is implemented in a FPGA and totally open. Perhaps someone will run with it and use these building blocks to make something interesting. But as long as an FPGA is the target it will never compete. Compare and contrast these features with what $25 will get you in an ARM. You can see by going back a few days here on Slashdot. Although there ain't no way in hell that project will get to market at $25 quan 1 either, academics have no notion what it costs to actually bring a product to market... but it won't be $500.

  • Re:Whoop dee doo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod (1080919) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:52PM (#36089400) Homepage

    I doubt you have any idea what you're talking about.

    It's actually a great looking device for musicians like myself. Built in MIDI & DMX512 ports.

    Nice attempt at trolling open source projects.

  • Re:Whoop dee doo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:09PM (#36089508)

    It's actually a great looking device for musicians like myself.

    I doubt that. It's a $500 dev kit. Any tool you need for making music can be had from private companies with superior specs for less cash. Even if not, you could make a superior product by using an ASIC from a private company rather than a FPGA. If you buy one, it will be because you like the notion of it being open, not because it's technically superior to existing products.

  • by femto (459605) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:46PM (#36089704) Homepage

    is the highly proprietary FPGA technology used to implement the CPU. FPGA partition, place and route (ppr) is some of most proprietary software on the planet, slathered in trade secrets and patents. The chips themselves are worse. Think of them as a type of processor (after all an FPGA is just a bit cruncher) with a secret instruction set and compiler (ppr). Xlinix (major FPGA company) want potential customers to sign an NDA simply to have their salespeople say more than "we sell FPGAs".

    If the Free Software community is to use FPGA's, as more than just a curiosity, first task is to design/build its own silicon and write its own toolchain. Then they come up against the proprietary nature of semiconductor manufacturing.

    I'm not belittling the Milkymist project, as what I describe above is a separate project. It's a huge project, essentially a reimplementation of 50 years of semiconductor progress, ultimately linked to the (seminal) desktop manufacturing projects that some have started. Imagine RepRap mk42 with semiconducting, conducting and insulating inks, printing circuits at the micro-scale.

  • Re:Whoop dee doo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:05PM (#36089796) Homepage Journal

    Any tool you need for making music can be had from private companies with superior specs for less cash.

    Really? Maybe you can tell me where to get a MIDI controlled audio/video synthesizer hardware solution off-the-shelf for under $500?

    I bet someone told Don Buchla and Bob Moog that there was no need to build their silly little gizmos because hey, you can get any instrument you want down at your local music store. I can't believe you made such an idiotic statement, artor3.

    Even if not, you could make a superior product by using an ASIC from a private company rather than a FPGA

    You really don't know what you're talking about. Go start with an ASIC and build a MIDI-controlled audio/video synth for under $500. You'd spend more than $500 in time before you even started putting together the hardware.

    Would you have any idea how to put together a box like this one that would be an appropriate tool for musicians/video artists? Would you have any clue as to what the requirements of the artists would be? Well, the people who are putting together the device described in this article have clearly given it some thought. And even as a "Dev-kit" it's a great tool. Shit, most of Cycling '74's products are "dev-kits" when it comes right down to it.

    I think you owe everyone reading this tonight an apology, artor3, for making such an arrogant, dunderheaded comment. Oh, and then there's this:

    If you buy one, it will be because you like the notion of it being open, not because it's technically superior to existing products.

    Maybe you'd like to tell us about the "existing products" that would do what this device does that sell for $500?

    I want that apology, right now mister.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @12:53AM (#36090482) Homepage

    Years of work, special purpose hardware, a price tag higher than an entire PC, and all it does is generate screen-saver like video wallpaper in sync with audio?

    If you're building technology for a rave, build something that makes the track spots follow the dancers. Something the dancers can play with. A Kinect might make that work.

Your code should be more efficient!

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