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
. 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!
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