beckman101 writes: FPGAs — specialized, high speed chips with large arrays of configurable logic — are usually highly proprietary. Anyone who has used one is familiar with the buggy and node-locked accompanying tools that FPGA manufacturers provide. Project IceStorm http://www.clifford.at/icestor... aims to change that by reverse-engineering some Lattice FPGAs to produce an open-source toolchain, and today it passed a milestone. The J1 open-source CPU is building under IceStorm, and running on real hardware. The result is a fairly puny microcontroller, but possibly the world's most open one.
beckman101 writes: Two years ago the Gameduino brought retro-style gaming to the Arduino. This week its successor launched on Kickstarter, still fully open-source but with a video that shows it running some contemporary-looking demos, plus it has a touch screen and a pretty decent 3-axis accelerometer. Farewell to the retro?
beckman101 writes: "Gameduino is a DIY game platform built on a shield for the Arduino. It'(TM)s open source hardware (BSD and, for the code, GPL). Okay, that’s fairly cool. But what makes this project special is that this inexpensive board has hardware that'(TM)s capable enough to be interesting. The result is a lo-fi game console built on an FPGA that gives you retro graphics without being, you know, too retro. Games actually look good."