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Graphics Hardware Hacking Open Source Hardware Build

Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You? 54

lekernel writes "The Milkymist project (also mentioned earlier this year) have started shipping their so-called 'video synthesizer,' a device used by concert and other event organizers to create live visual effects. Most interestingly, the device is based on their fully open source system-on-chip design, including both a CPU and graphics accelerators — the latter being a significant part of what the Open Graphics project is still struggling with."
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Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You?

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  • FPGA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ironchew ( 1069966 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:27PM (#37782380)

    The technical overview [milkymist.org] says the system-on-a-chip is implemented with FPGAs, and the open-source component is the Verilog HDL code.

  • by Mr Z ( 6791 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:25PM (#37783556) Homepage Journal

    I take it you've never built hardware at the "design circuit boards and get them assembled" level. It's capital intensive. For my simple projects, the difference in cost per board was about 5-10x between a run of 5 and a run of 500. Of course they're selling these, because if they sell enough, they're cheaper for everyone. If everyone had to build one from scratch, nobody would, because they'd cost about $1000 more. Looks like it's a 6 layer board. I don't think that's something you can etch in your bathroom sink with a copper clad board from your local Fry's.

    And they're truly open source. It's all GPLv3 or CC BY-SA 3.0. They provide the VHDL, the board design files (and the resulting Gerbers), everything. And according to their FAQ [milkymist.org], they're even working on a free toolchain to compile the FPGA code.

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