Novena laptop gets new stretch goals

April 24, 2014 | 10:22

Tags: #andrew-huang #bunnie #crowd-funding #fpga #gpio #hacker #open-hardware

Companies: #andrew-bunnie-huang #arm #novena #open-source #xilinx

Andrew 'Bunnie' Huang has announced new stretch-goals for his crowd-funded Novena open hardware laptop project, currently approaching 80 per cent of its $250,000 goal with 24 days left on the clock.

First unveiled in December 2012 as a very early prototype, and given the name Novena in January this year, the project aims to produce an ARM-based laptop with features designed to appeal to the hobbyist. With a fully open hardware design and running entirely on open source software - no binary blobs required to boot, Bunnie has promised - the design includes a quad-core ARM chip with a Xilinx Spartan 6 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) as a co-processor.

Earlier this month, Bunnie launched a crowd-funding drive designed to bring the first Novena models to production. With 77 per cent of the ambitious $250,000 goal raised with 24 days still to go, Huang has now announced stretch goals for the project - and they include some impressive add-ons.

'First, a heartfelt “thank you” to all those who have backed our crowdfunding campaign to bring Novena-powered open computing devices to the world,' wrote Bunnie of the project's success so far. 'One excellent outcome of the campaign is a lot of people have reached out to us to extend the Novena platform and make it even better, and so we’re offering a diverse range of stretch goals to provide an even better open laptop for all walks of users.'

If the pot reaches $300,000, Bunnie has promised to hire developer Jon Nettleton to develop fully open-source accelerated 2D and 3D graphics drivers for the Novena; $350,000 and all hardware shipments will include a general-purpose breakout board with 16 outputs and eight inputs connected to the FPGA with user-space drivers for use in Linux; a $400,000 pot will add a ROMulator breakout board, allowing the Novena to be used to capture and modify traffic from ROM chips; if the project doubles its goal to $500,000 or has more than 200 backers picking the desktop, laptop or limited edition heirloom Novena hardware, buyers will get a bundled MyriadRF software-defined radio (SDR) module.

Details of the stretch goals are available on the project's CrowdSupply page.
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