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Comments

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Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You?

lekernel Re:I'm a bit ignorant on this subject I guess (54 comments)

Since we do not have a copyright transfer and most of the code is GPLv3 licensed, no one in this project has the right (nor the intention AFAIK) to close all the source.

more than 2 years ago
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Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You?

lekernel Re:This already exists (54 comments)

This is where the Milkymist project is different - you can implement the SoC on a small, affordable FPGA and still get good performance, in part thanks to dedicated accelerators. By the way, there is also FPGA platforms for OpenSPARC so your estimate is too high, but they're still quite expensive and OpenSPARC runs pretty slowly on them.

more than 2 years ago
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Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You?

lekernel Re:Too long ? (54 comments)

The LM32 _is_ a good example of open source CPU; and there's more to open source than GNU. Also, it is simply more technically appropriate here than LEON, OpenRISC and OpenSPARC. There was some confusion about the LM32 license (sparkled among other things by confidentiality notices left in the source files) but Lattice cleaned up most of the mess a few months ago. The Lattice license says: " The Provider grants to You a personal, non-exclusive right to use object code created from the Software or a Derivative Work to physically implement the design in devices such as a programmable logic devices or application specific integrated circuits." So - yes, we can implement it in non-Lattice FPGAs. There is no MMU; some people talked about building one but it did not happen. We are open to switching to OpenRISC should it become as small and fast as LM32.

more than 2 years ago
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Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You?

lekernel Re:But still, no one gives a shit (54 comments)

Maybe you do not care, but in about two months, components of the Milkymist SoC are flying into space - and this means more to the project and to open hardware in general than your negative comment.

more than 2 years ago
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Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You?

lekernel Re:GCC (54 comments)

There is already GCC, and a experimental/incomplete LLVM.

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:Open Graphics Project beat them to it (99 comments)

All OGD does is a dumb VGA framebuffer due to lack of development/skills on the FPGA design. We went a lot further than that.

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:it's an entire system (99 comments)

I do not make any special effort to sound negative here, but honestly that SoC did not really work on anything. Most of the stuff posted to Opencores is in fact half-finished, buggy projects, and Milkymist SoC does not use any other Opencores stuff than Wishbone (and still, this was because of LM32) for this very reason. Even the OpenRISC GCC/glibc toolchain was crippled with various major problems until recently. The OpenRISC RTL still is, but I can see things moving in the right direction. Maybe Milkymist SoC will integrate OpenRISC at some point, if those technical improvements happen. OpenSPARC and LEON were also considered, but they are very heavy resource-wise.

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:That's all it does? (99 comments)

Ah and yes - the video input is pretty much to make stuff the dancers can play with. We have no good video footage or documentation of this however (which is part of the reasons while it's still "beta").

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:Nope. (99 comments)

We considered this option, but OpenSPARC is very resource hungry. It is a good design for a stand alone ASIC microprocessor, but in our case it is better to use a small and resource efficient CPU and leave the bulk of the calculations to dedicated accelerators.

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:3 pin DMX? (99 comments)

Yes and being a lighting professional, you probably already know that 3 pin 5 pin adapters are not hard to come by, don't you?

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:Meh. (99 comments)

To answer your question about spare gates, we are using about 44% of the FPGA resources at the moment. I would also question your remark about the compared "grunt" of a netbook, as many non-tech people I have shown the device to have spontaneously praised it for its reactivity and fluidity. Finally, some people are working on a MMU and even though it is of little use for my intended video synthesis application, you are most welcome to join them.

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:Meh. (99 comments)

Price mainly has to do with volume. Also, VGA is still widely used today, and does not mean low resolution as the Milkymist One can do 1280x1024. We are planning to add a connector to drive HDMI displays at some point, which consists merely in wiring it directly to the FPGA as the Spartan-6 we use has the TMDS stuff built in, but unless we have the time and the development resources to get it done fast in the FPGA design, it is not a priority. (I work on Milkymist One)

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:What makes it not great... (99 comments)

The material we posted online so far is not so great, but from feedback on real uses of the product, it does much better than what you describe. But it can be a matter of taste, too.

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:Whoop dee doo (99 comments)

-- disclosure: I work on Milkymist One -- The only comparable product from proprietary hardware companies is the Edirol CG8, which has inferior specs in most regards and is sold for a lot more (about 6 times the price of Milkymist One).

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:That's all it does? (99 comments)

About the price tag: this has to do with volume alone. The only way we can bring it down is by selling lots of device. Traditional chicken and egg problem in electronics...

more than 2 years ago
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Consumer Device With Open CPU Out of Beta Soon

lekernel Re:The elephant in the room (99 comments)

First, we are working on this, and your patches are welcome. https://github.com/sbourdeauducq/llhdl/wiki https://github.com/sbourdeauducq/antares FPGA companies are not as evil as you make them out to be. As a matter of fact, a large part of Xilinx's motivation about closing the bitstream is not to be evil, but to limit the damage that can be done from their (stupid and large) customers misusing the FPGAs. They still publish a lot and you might be surprised to learn, for example, that the ISE software has options to dump the complete routing graph of all Xilinx FPGAs as well as some raw timing characterization numbers. The information is there, but it takes more work to go looking for it than to sit on your ass bashing the FPGA companies - as most free software activists do whenever the topic of FPGAs arises. No wonder why so little open source FPGA and EDA stuff gets done. Finally, Milkymist SoC and FPGAs lie at two different levels of abstraction. When you are using a traditional CPU, both the logic design (HDL) and the physical implementation system (ASIC cells, P&R tools, ...) are closed. When you are using Milkymist SoC, the logic design is open and the physical implementation system is closed. The logic design is portable, and ported, to other technologies. I think we all agree this represents a progress.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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17-yo builds fusion reactor, keynotes Berlin's EHSM

lekernel lekernel writes  |  about a year ago

lekernel (1279600) writes "Will Jack is a 17 year old high school student from the US who enjoys nothing more than building nuclear fusion reactors in his basement. He will be the keynote speaker later this month at Berlin's Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting, a conference on the frontiers of open source and DIY. Other topics covered by the conference are the CERN open hardware initiative, microchip reverse-engineering, DIY vacuum tubes, and more."
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Hardcore DIY And Open Source Conference Announced

lekernel lekernel writes  |  about 2 years ago

lekernel (1279600) writes "LED blinkers, microcontroller breakout boards and mediocre 3D printers no longer excite you? Then, the Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting may be something for you. The conference aims at featuring the most hardcore DIY, hacker and open source projects, such as electron microscopes, rocket science and software-defined radios and radars. It will be held at the end of December in Berlin, Germany."
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Hardcore DIY And Open Source Conference Announced

lekernel lekernel writes  |  about a year ago

lekernel (1279600) writes "LED blinkers, microcontroller breakout boards and mediocre 3D printers no longer excite you? Then, the Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting may be something for you. The conference aims at featuring the most hardcore DIY and open source projects, such as electron microscopes, rocket science and software-defined radios and radars. It will be held at the end of December in Berlin, and they have an open call for participation."
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Open Source CPUs Coming to a Club Near You?

lekernel lekernel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

lekernel (1279600) writes "The Milkymist project 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 Open Graphics is still struggling with."
Link to Original Source
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Consumer device with open CPU out of beta soon

lekernel lekernel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

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."

Link to Original Source
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Hacker Space Festival splits across locations

lekernel lekernel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lekernel (1279600) writes "After the success of the second Hacker Space Festival, the international community of hackers are invited to participate in the multiple events of the third edition. Hackito Ergo Sum (Paris, April 8-10, submission deadline March 15) is a conference on offensive security protesting against recent French law criminalizing independent security research and publication. Breizh Entropy Congress (Rennes, April 15-17, submission deadline March 16) is an eclectic event themed around free culture and technologies. Les Contorsions Technologiques (Paris, May 1st, submission deadline March 20) focuses on DIY hardware. Tetalab Hacker Space Festival (Toulouse, May 28-30) will consist in conferences and workshops revolving around hackerspaces activities. Eventually, Estive Numérique (Southern Alps countryside, July 20-26) will be about autonomy and self-sufficiency in the digital age. With such events blossoming, France looks like the place to be during the next months!"
Link to Original Source
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Hacker Space Festival splits across locations

lekernel lekernel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lekernel (1279600) writes "After the success of the second Hacker Space Festival, the international community of hackers are invited to participate in the multiple events of the third edition. Hackito Ergo Sum (Paris, April 8-10) will be your usual security conference. Breizh Entropy Congress (Rennes, April 15-17, submission deadline March 16) is an eclectic event themed around free culture and technologies. Les Contorsions Technologiques (Paris, May 1st, submission deadline March 20) focuses on DIY hardware. Tetalab Hacker Space Festival (Toulouse, May 28-30) will consist in conferences and workshops revolving around hackerspaces activities. Eventually, Estive Numérique (Southern Alps countryside, July 20-26) will be about autonomy and self-sufficiency in the digital age. With such events blossoming, France looks like the place to be during the next months!"
Link to Original Source
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Swedish hackers in a squat fight eviction

lekernel lekernel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lekernel (1279600) writes "The newly opened Abbenay Hackspace in Stockholm has released a call for support in their struggle to keep their space. It was an empty office building until squatters moved in. The discussions with officials have stalled completely and the squatters live under the constant threat of police raids. Abbenay Hackspace is asking people to contact the landlord, and explain why creative spaces such as hackerspaces are important to them. Is there room for hackerspaces in major cities? Or is squatting the only viable strategy for hackerspaces in expensive areas?"
Link to Original Source
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Milkymist System-on-Chip reaches beta stage

lekernel lekernel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

lekernel writes "The System-on-Chip design of Milkymist, an open hardware platform for video performance artists, now has all the required features to implement many video effects. The next step for the project is to develop software that leverages the features of this architecture to render MilkDrop-like visual effects on a stand-alone FPGA development board in order to make the first good-looking demos using the system. For the FPGA hackers out there, the hardware design is entirely written in open source synthesizable Verilog. It notoriously features the LatticeMico32 WISHBONE-enabled softcore processor capable of running uClinux, a high performance DDR SDRAM controller, and graphics accelerators for texture mapping and floating point computations. A good introductory paper about the SoC architecture can be found here."
Link to Original Source

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