Open Graphics Project to Announce Pre-Orders for First Hardware
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Many moons ago I posted about a fledgling project seeking to provide fully open graphics cards and drivers to the open source community, and consequently the world. After some separation from the tech world, I have come back and note that this wonderful project has made some brilliant strides! In fact, it has come so far as to now offer pre-orders for their first card, the OGD1. The road hasn't been an easy one:
The OGD1 design has actually been finished for a couple of months now. In that time, we've been chasing a chick-and-egg problem. We can take all the orders we want, but there's as much as an 8-week lead time between when we place our order for 100 boards and when we get them so that we can test and then ship them. It would be inappropriate to charge our own customers until we ship to them. That leaves us with a $60000 bill to pay before we have any revenue, and that's too much for Andy, Howard, and I to float on our own. We didn't want to make a formal announcement for re-orders until we solved this problem.The card will initially be offered at $1500, with discounts of $100 for the first 100 pre-orders. But who is this card aimed at? Obviously the $1500 price tag is a bit high for the performance offered, so those seeking cutting edge graphics acceleration will have to look elsewhere (Matrox?). Rather, the card is meant for hackers and for those wanting to accelerate the pace of open graphics.
We often get inquiries about the use of OGD1 as a graphics card. It can easily-enough function as a graphics card, but for most such uses, it is badly over-priced. On the other hand, OGD1 is very competitively priced as an FPGA development kit. We need to make it clear what OGD1 is and why buying one is an important step for Free Software.Check out the full announcement on the project's mailing list or read a bit @ Kernel Trap. Also, be sure to visit the project's wiki.