Archive for June, 2010
Milkymist SoC 0.6 was released today, and features most prominently the support for the Milkymist One. The “proof of concept” video synthesis software was also successfully ported to it, as shown in the video below.
Work is still to be done on the different Milkymist One interfaces (MIDI, DMX, USB, video input, IR) for which there is currently no support from the FPGA design. A substantial amount of work is also ahead on the Flickernoise open source end user application, GUI library and RTEMS support.
No price or availability date have been defined yet for the final Milkymist One product. However, very limited quantities of prototype boards are being made available to selected Verilog and software (RTEMS, Genode FX, Flickernoise) contributors. To apply for one, please send an email to sebastien dot bourdeauducq at lekernel dot net, stating your interest in the Milkymist project, your background experience and how you are planning to contribute. A flashing mini-howto as well as many wiki resources are available to get started fast with the board. Furthermore, software can also be tested using the QEMU emulator.
Last but not least, the Milkymist One prototypes will also be shown and demonstrated at the next RMLL on July 6th in Bordeaux, France.
The bring-up of the Milkymist One board is going amazingly well and fast, and I am now pleased to announce that the demonstration firmware is able to render today the same MilkDrop presets as on the previous ML401 development board, in 640×480 at 25 frames per second.
So far, the following PCB components have been successfully tested:
- Power supply
- LEDs and pushbuttons
- NOR flash
- DDR SDRAM
- AC97 audio
- Internal microphone
- Line out
- Line in
- Headphones amplifier
- VGA video output
The following parts are waiting to be tested:
- Video input
- Memory card
- Infrared receiver
If you are wondering how the boards are made, Adam has put online some pictures and comments here. Stay tuned! Bare, unpackaged boards (for interested FPGA or software developers) should be made available relatively soon…
By the way: I’m no big fan of Twitter, but you can follow @milkymistvj for project news.
More pictures at the Qi Hardware wiki.
The place itself is only a small room in the “Informatik-Zentrum” of the RWTH, but it’s packed with tools. Among the most prominent ones are a laser cutter, a professional 3D printing machine and a CNC milling machine.
The 3D printer produces object of outstanding quality. It uses regular plastic wire (the same as in Reprap), however, the manufacturer is trying to make sure that only their wire (that they sell with a large profit margin) is being used in the machine. The wire cartridges come with a chip that prevents them from being refilled with inexpensive plastic wire. Unfortunately, the fablab people did not even try to hack the system for fear of breaking the machine. Come on!
The milling machine is mostly used to manufacture printed circuit boards. The only advantage over the traditional chemistry-based method seems to be that it’s fully automatic, which, for me at least, does not really justify the much increased cost and the relatively poorly cut copper (though this particular one produces a pretty good result). But it probably fits better in the “full automation” spirit of the fablab.
Anyone can use the fablab, including for commercial projects. The only two conditions are to cover the cost of the materials and to release the design files of your project under a free license such as Creative Commons.