Milkymist™ Videosynthesizer

With the simultaneous reduction of the cost and increased availability of dense and performant FPGAs, it now becomes possible for individuals to design digital chips, and therefore push the limits of free software down to the digital design. Milkymist is one of the current biggest open hardware projects, designing a system-on-chip with performance and resource utilization in mind, specifically for real-time video shows and artistic events.

The goal of the Milkymist project by Sébastien Bourdeauducq is to develop a stand-alone device in a small form factor that is capable of rendering MilkDrop-esque visuals effects in real time, with a high level of interaction with many sensors and using live audio and video streams as a base.

Open source components and design tools have been developed or used as much as possible. A system-on-chip (SoC) implemented in a Field-programmable gate array (FPGA) has been chosen for meeting this goal at the IP core level.
The flexibility of the FPGA enables advanced users to modify the design, and also permits compact integration of many interfaces (MIDI, OSC, DMX512, analog sensors, video inputs), making Milkymist™ a platform of choice for the mobile VJ.
The design is also highly modular and documented, making the code easy to re-use in other open source system-on-chips.

The Milkymist SoC is at the core of the project. It is a 100% open source system-on-chip (SoC) design written in Verilog HDL. Featuring the LatticeMico32 processor core, it is capable of executing complex, fully-fledged software (including nommu Linux) and comes with an extensive set of custom-built peripherals and graphics accelerators.

– Multi-standard video input (PAL/SECAM/NTSC)
– Two DMX512 (RS485) ports
– MIDI IN and MIDI OUT ports
– VGA output, 24bpp, up to 140MHz pixel clock (> 1024×768)
– AC’97 audio
– XC6SLX45 Spartan-6 FPGA supporting the open source Milkymist SoC
– 128MB 32-bit DDR400 SDRAM
– 32MB parallel flash
– 10/100 Ethernet
– Memory card
– Two USB host connectors
– RC5-compatible infrared receiver
– RS232 debug port

yes it´s out now and shipping. be fast and get one!
more info @

update: follow this link here to watch a talk about open source hardware and the latest developments around the milkmist system at chaos computer club camp 2011.

Photos are © Copyright 2011 Sharism at Work Ltd., released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.