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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon 99

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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  • ok (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @07:31PM (#36088828)

    yea ok I will admit this is the first time I have seen an open source CPU, but that is becuase the rest of us would have grabbed a fpga and not wasted a bunch of time.

    I will also admit that this is cool as shit after calling it a waste of time, its a bit of both I guess

  • by mark_elf ( 2009518 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:18PM (#36089142)
    Judging from what the screenshots look like, the "video art" it produces looks a lot like Winamp circa 1998. I'm part of the target audience for this thing and it looks pretty useless for making video. But if you shine some lights on it, it looks kinda cool I guess. If you tell people about the open source CPU it gets even cooler.
  • Open source? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pem ( 1013437 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:43PM (#36089690)
    I'm not particularly happy about my chances of legally
    reusing code that starts like this:

    //                           COPYRIGHT NOTICE
    // Copyright 2006 (c) Lattice Semiconductor Corporation
    // This confidential and proprietary software may be used only as authorised by
    // a licensing agreement from Lattice Semiconductor Corporation.
    // The entire notice above must be reproduced on all authorized copies and
    // copies may only be made to the extent permitted by a licensing agreement from
    // Lattice Semiconductor Corporation.
    // Lattice Semiconductor Corporation        TEL : 1-800-Lattice (USA and Canada)
    // 5555 NE Moore Court                            408-826-6000 (other locations)
    // Hillsboro, OR 97124                     web  :
    // U.S.A                                   email:
  • Re:Open source? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pem ( 1013437 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:52PM (#36089746)
    BTW, that license was from the tarball at []

    Before bothering with that, I actually tried figuring out the license by looking at Lattice, but other than reassuring verbiage about free, I came up blank when looking for an actual license: []

    And, of course, most of the Lattice junk in the source tarball, and the documentation at the milkymist site, can't even be retrieved from Lattice itself without registering and executing some sort of license agreement: []

    Lame. BTW, the main article links to [].

    Which links to the SOC code page [].

  • Re:ok (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wspraul ( 594789 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:16PM (#36089842)
    The entire video synthesizer runs on less than 5W. We didn't pick an fpga because we wanted to make an fpga computer. We picked an fpga because it allows us to make a spectacularly well performing and low power (!) video synthesizer. It can easily beat a multi-GHz Intel system.
  • Re:Open source? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pem ( 1013437 ) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:23PM (#36090120)
    Forgot to mention that I did read section 11 that you point out to. It doesn't include all the source. There are plenty of files that self-identify as being under one of the licenses referenced by section 11, but the core CPU RTL files don't seem to fall into that category.

    Color me naive/fearful/stupid/untrusting/whatever, but when I see a license that covers both open source components and non-open source components, and a source file with a copyright notice that doesn't say anything about the code inside being under any kind of open source license, and in fact starts off by saying "This confidential and proprietary software ...", why the hell would I assume that the "open-source" parts of the license apply to that particular source file?

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle