Milkymist One is an all-in-one visualist workstation with a permissive open (Creative Commons) license. (The license note says, “Commercial use within the terms of the license is encouraged” — emphasis theirs.) The design is still in-progress and not available for sale, but it looks promising, with complete MIDI and DMX support, plus integrated video input and output, all onboard. Given the rapid progress of these kind of architectures, we could be looking at the future of visual performance, all in dedicated gear with computer-style flexibility.

Specs:

- XC6SLX45 Spartan-6 FPGA
- 128MB 32-bit DDR400 SDRAM
- 32MB parallel flash
- VGA output, 24bpp, up to 140MHz pixel clock
- Multi-standard video input (PAL/SECAM/NTSC)
- AC’97 audio
- 10/100 Ethernet
- Memory card
- Two connectors that accept USB peripherals
- Two DMX512 ports
- MIDI IN and MIDI OUT ports
- RC5-compatible infrared receiver
- RS232 debug port

The Spartan-6 does look quite nice, with integrated PCI Express support and some powerful DSP. I could see some ARM-based boards having promise for this sort of application, as well.

Check out the site and let us know what you think:
Milkymist One, via Make

And see their open source system on a chip and hardware-accelerated, GPL-licensed VJ app. If you’re in Europe, you may be able to catch them at an upcoming event.

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    Check the updates about octinct project:
    http://hangar.org/wikis/lab/doku.php?id=start:oct

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexposada/sets/7215

    Soon step by step assembly guide and so on…

    ;)

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    Ooops… this may be post at codanova entry…

    Sorry!

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    This kit is really interesting for integrated solutions… it has only one mone channel input/output? It could be possible attach a soundcard?

  • http://www.milkymist.org lekernel

    Who needs ARM when we have LM32? ;)

    One of the purposes of the project is also to get rid of proprietary semiconductor cores, and replace them with free equivalents.

    Granted, a "hard" ARM processor would be faster and less power hungry than the softcore LM32 in the FPGA we use now. But to solve this problem, the way we are thinking about is to spin our own ASIC system-on-chip, once the current design is rock solid on FPGA.

    Anyway, that's for later and thanks for posting!

  • http://www.milkymist.org lekernel

    And don't get me wrong about power consumption: the board uses less than 4W during typical use. That's about 20 times less than the Edirol CG-8 for example.

  • http://bitsynthesis.com Bit_Synthesis

    128MB RAM seems like it could limit the unit's flexibility. Might this be upgradeable?

  • http://www.vdmokstati.com grigori

    This prototype has been introduced last year ;) I blogged about it in November 09 or around that.