Milkymist One is an all-in-one visualist workstation with a permissive open (Creative Commons) license. (The license note says, “Commercial use within the terms of the license is encouraged” — emphasis theirs.) The design is still in-progress and not available for sale, but it looks promising, with complete MIDI and DMX support, plus integrated video input and output, all onboard. Given the rapid progress of these kind of architectures, we could be looking at the future of visual performance, all in dedicated gear with computer-style flexibility.


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

The Spartan-6 does look quite nice, with integrated PCI Express support and some powerful DSP. I could see some ARM-based boards having promise for this sort of application, as well.

Check out the site and let us know what you think:
Milkymist One, via Make

And see their open source system on a chip and hardware-accelerated, GPL-licensed VJ app. If you’re in Europe, you may be able to catch them at an upcoming event.