Well, what an exciting time. I'm happy to inform you that we succeeded in pushing the guys at Adapteva over their Kickstarter goal.
I think we should all give ourselves a hearty pat on the back. Let's just to remind ourselves as to what a difference we made. Early last week, my chum Andreas from Adapteva called me to say "Help!"
As you may recall, Andreas was the guy who left his job a few years ago and – working in his basement and living off his pension fund – single-handedly invented a new computer architecture. Andreas then designed his own System-on-Chip (SoC) called the Epiphany from the ground up – Including learning how to use all of the EDA tools – then took the device all the way to working silicon and a packaged prototype.
When we chatted early last week, Andreas explained that he and his colleagues were trying to build a personal supercomputer called the Parallella for only $100. This little rascal is to be based on the combination of a Zynq All Programmable SoC from Xilinx and an Epiphany from Adapteva. In order to do this, the folks from Adapteva had launched a Kickstarter project a little over three weeks prior to our conversation. Their goal was to achieve $750,000 in pledges, but – when we talked – they had raised only around $420,000. Pledges had started to slow down, the deadline (6:00pm Eastern Time on Saturday 27 October) was only a few days away, and things were starting to look grim indeed.
On Wednesday 24 October I posted my first blog on this topic here on the EE Times' Designline Websites: Personal supercomputer for only $100! Following this blog, thing really started to ramp up – largely due to everyone who read the blog pledging themselves and/or spreading the words around via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so forth.
By Friday morning the folks from Adapteva were up to $611,504, which means that $171,939 had been pledged in just a couple of days! This was amazing, but they still needed to raise another $138,496 for the Kickstarter project to go forward.
I must admit that I was starting to become a little worried – and I also saw that Andreas had posted a comment somewhere saying "I don’t think we can get anyone to write any more articles" – so I posted a follow-up blog: $100 Supercomputer – so close I can taste it! In that blog, amongst other things, I said "Oooooh, the things I will be able to do with this little beauty … BUT ONLY IF THE KICKSTARTER PROJECT REACHES ITS GOAL!!! (Sorry … I didn’t mean to shout)." The reason I mention the "shouting" part will become apparent in a moment.
I also started sending emails to all of the marketing and public relations folks I know asking them to spread the work. I must admit that by Friday afternoon I was nervously checking Kickstarter every ten minutes or so. We were getting closer and closer…
And I also started to look at the comments that were coming in on Kickstarter, which is where I saw the following:
Hurray! How exciting! I especially enjoyed the part where Nico says "I like that he [referring to me] starts shouting."
(OK, I must admit that I also liked the part where he said "Max is THE guy when it comes to FPGAs/SoCs."
Nico is obviously a very intelligent young man with a bright future ahead of him :-)
By Friday evening I was practically jumping up and down with excitement when Adapteva achieved their $750,000 goal. Phew! What a relief!
When I got up on Saturday morning I checked again. Good Grief! They had continued to charge ahead and were now at something like $820,000. And it went on and on … by the time the Kickstarter project automatically shut down, the total pledge amount was $898,921
– almost $150,000
over the original target!
I can only imagine the excitement at Adapteva. I received an email from Andreas saying how much he appreciated all of our efforts. I told him to stop talking and to get back to work on my Parallella supercomputer (grin). Now I cannot wait for the little beauty to arrive.
Anyway, as I say, I think we all deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back for our efforts here. You never know – maybe Adapteva will one day grow into a big company (maybe even the next Apple :-) in which case we can all say "We were part of that!"
So thanks to everyone for helping out – and please keep on visiting the EE Times' Designline Websites, because this is where you get to hear what's going on!
If you found this article to be of interest, visit Programmable Logic Designline
where – in addition to my Max's Cool Beans
blogs – you will find the latest and greatest design, technology, product, and news articles with regard to programmable logic devices of every flavor and size (FPGAs, CPLDs, CSSPs, PSoCs...).
Also, you can obtain a highlights update delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter – just Click Here
to request this newsletter using the Manage Newsletters tab (if you aren't already a member you'll be asked to register, but it's free and painless so don't let that stop you [grin]).