[Open-graphics] Draft of post to OSnews
Timothy Normand Miller
theosib at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 21:00:15 EDT 2009
The Linux Fund has just started a fund-raiser to raise money to buy 10
Open Graphics Development boards to give away to developers. Please
check it out and donate at <a
The Open Graphics Project home page is <a
href="http://wiki.opengraphics.org/tiki-index.php">here</a>. If you
want to buy an OGD1 board for yourself, place a pre-order <a
The Open Graphics Project (OGP) is not like other open source
projects. Their focus is open source <b>hardware</b>. While it's
relatively cheap to write software, compile it with GCC, and run it on
a Linux box, hardware is expensive to make. Not surprisingly the OGP
has progressed at a much slower rate than most software projects. The
OGP started in late 2004. By the middle of 2005, they had a complete
spec written for an open source graphics card. By 2007, they had
completed the design for OGD1, their open source FPGA-based graphics
card development platform. In 2008, they started taking pre-orders.
After that, it was a matter of getting enough pre-orders that they
could justify going to production.
Meanwhile, the OGP has developed a fair amount of IP. FPGA logic
blocks available under GPL include controllers for PCI, memory and,
video, as well as a MIPS-like microcontroller called HQ. Putting
those together, they have a partially working implementation of legacy
VGA hardware and BIOS that allow OGD1 to boot in a PC as the console.
That and a simple driver would allow you to drive two 2048x1536
digital monitors, albeit without hardware graphics acceleration (yet).
The Linux Fund has recently come along to kick-start this to the next
level. First, they found a PCB production house that should be able
to build OGD1 boards in smaller quantities. Second, they decided to
ask for donations in a quantity that, together with existing
pre-orders, would bring the quantity up to the minimum number. Third,
with the Linux Fund on their side, OGD1 is no longer seen as the only
chance for the OGP to fund itself, allowing them to cut the price in
half, making it much more competitive and affordable.
Timothy Normand Miller
Open Graphics Project
More information about the Open-graphics