Congratz on being slashdotted

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at sharism.cc
Sat Jun 5 20:32:06 EDT 2010


Guylhem,
thank you!

> Just a slightly dissenting note - the slashdot comments about the CPU
> were spot-on : you don't get the full blueprints to allow mass

That's not dissenting, that's the essence of the project.
You are absolutely right about the CPU. I keep thinking about Christopher
Harrison the other day on this list and his whole grain crackers

"When I buy a box of Triscuits it says, "Whole Grain Crackers." I expect that
it's talking about all of the crackers, and not just most of them."
:-)

I love it. He's also right, and we need to be careful. We are not selling
100% copyleft hardware today, it's just our goal. No need to put a percentage
next to Ben NanoNote, but it's not 100%.

I appreciate working with Ingenic as long as they help me find a home for
more and more great free technology. For example they are working on a new
CPU with integrated GPS, and we are working with them to make this the most
open GPS solution in the world. That still wouldn't change the nature of the
SoC, but if they help me increase openness, especially in software heavy RF,
then I will work with them (or anybody else). If they push more and more
proprietary technology into our free software, I won't work with them.

On the other end, do you know about Milkymist?
http://www.milkymist.org

It's a GPL licensed SoC project around a freely licensed LatticeMico32
core. We are working together with Sebastien on the first computer
tailored around Milkymist since last December.
It's called Milkymist One
http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Milkymist_One

Milkymist One essentially is a board with a powerful FPGA in the middle, and
a number of connectors around it. The SoC will drive all those peripherals
(once it's completed, there is lots of work please join Sebastien's project
if you can).
The first boards will be mounted any day now
http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Milkymist_One_RC1_PCB_Specification
http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Milkymist_One_SMT/DIP_Process_Flow

So if we can keep this going, Milkymist may be the basis for future fully
copylefted chips. I'd say that's at least 2-3 years out though, depends on
how quickly the Milkymist community can grow and develop.
Then we make copyleft ASICs
http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/ASIC_production_notes
(sorry these notes are totally messy and unorganized, just to illustrate that
we start poking into "how can we make our own ASIC")

> Not including wifi was a tough decision, but the right move. Betting on
> HomeRF, or anything that is not patent encumbered  is very appealing.

It will be SlowFi!

Thanks for your feedback again, Cheers,
Wolfgang




More information about the discussion mailing list


interactive