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Crowdfunding
by floreabogdanflorin on Jul 4, 2012
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Recently I was looking to raise money for some small hardware projects, and crowdfunding has captured my attention. With crowdfunding, I think that OpenRisc has a very good chance to obtain enough funding for an ASIC.
I've seen that someone has highlighted Kickstarter already, but it had the problem that it was available only to US residents.
There are some crowdfunding platforms which also work for Europe (I didn't run a campaign yet, but everything looks fine).
Here are some promissing crowdfunding platforms:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects?filter_quick=most_funded&pbigg_id=1
http://www.rockethub.com/

There is also a list comparing various crowdfunding services at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_crowd_funding_services

There are some crowdfunding success stories which have raised a few hundred thousands of dollars.
RE: Crowdfunding
by Andersson on Jul 5, 2012
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I think it's a very interesting idea! It would propably have to be a single-board computer to really gather the crowd. Or, what are your thoughts about the possible donation levels and their perks?

This time, if the goals are not met, don't spend the money on the website. Instead let all the donations go to back to the funders. It would allow them to open up their wallets with no risk of the fundraising not taking off.

Present it as a perfect addition to the Arduino world, and maybe say a few words about the upcoming problems with UEFI and locked down systems.
RE: Crowdfunding
by floreabogdanflorin on Jul 6, 2012
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I would rather see the single board computer as a competitor to Raspberry Pi and OLinuXino Micro. Raspberry Pi seems to be a great platform, but it's SoC is the only problem, it's closed source, and even worse, the full documentation is released only under NDA.
An OpenRisc based SoC would fill perfectly this gap.
In order to be accesible to many people it would have to be a low cost board (the perceived price in developing countries is about 4 times higher than the perceived price in developed countries). I don't know how do we compete on price, are there any estimates for the unit cost of the ASIC ?
RE: Crowdfunding
by jt_eaton on Jul 6, 2012
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I would rather see the single board computer as a competitor to Raspberry Pi and OLinuXino Micro. Raspberry Pi seems to be a great platform, but it's SoC is the only problem, it's closed source, and even worse, the full documentation is released only under NDA.
An OpenRisc based SoC would fill perfectly this gap.
In order to be accesible to many people it would have to be a low cost board (the perceived price in developing countries is about 4 times higher than the perceived price in developed countries). I don't know how do we compete on price, are there any estimates for the unit cost of the ASIC ?


What does the NDA get you that you don't get when you google "bcm2835-arm-peripherals.pdf"?

I would like to see a board that combines a supported platform like Raspberry Pi with a fpga that is tied together with a really fast bi-di interface. Use the host for the operating system and communications with the outside world and the fpga to make your own embedded instrument.

John Eaton
RE: Crowdfunding
by floreabogdanflorin on Jul 6, 2012
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The first undocumented thing that comes in my mind is the GPU. Although they expose an OpenMax, OpenGL and OpenVG API, the libraries themselves are closed source.

Here's what they say in the Raspberry Pi FAQ:
"To get the full SoC documentation you would need to sign an NDA with Broadcom, who make the chip and sell it to us. But you would also need to provide a business model and estimate of how many chips you are going to sell."

Anyway, regarding the cost/performance ratio, Raspberry Pi is a great platform.
RE: Crowdfunding
by lynxofsausage on Jul 6, 2012
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I would like to see a board that combines a supported platform like Raspberry Pi with a fpga that is tied together with a really fast bi-di interface. Use the host for the operating system and communications with the outside world and the fpga to make your own embedded instrument.


There are plenty of such boards today. But most are expensive. The cheapest and best alternative though is really the Zed board from AVNet using a Xilinx XC7Z020 @ $300.
RE: Crowdfunding
by pekon on Jul 6, 2012
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TI's beagle-bone with AM335x is also competitive .. priced around http://beagleboard.org/bone

[pekon]
RE: Crowdfunding
by Andersson on Jul 7, 2012
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In order to be accesible to many people it would have to be a low cost board (the perceived price in developing countries is about 4 times higher than the perceived price in developed countries). I don't know how do we compete on price, are there any estimates for the unit cost of the ASIC ?
"Target price $5 at reasonable volumes ~5.000-10.000/year." "Estimation of needed fund: $30.000-$50.000"
"Target price $3 at reasonable volumes ~50.000-100.000/year." "Estimation of needed fund: $100.000-$150.000"

http://opencores.org/forum,OpenRISC%20-%20ASIC%20Funding,0,4358

Sounds absolutely great! And I think it's very doable to raise $100000+.
Does anyone know how much the cost of the SoC would be compared to the cost of a whole single-board with a few peripherals?
RE: Crowdfunding
by maresv on Nov 2, 2012
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There is an interesting article about crowd-funding on Embedded.com. At the end of the article Bernard Cole asks for information about such projects.
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