Novena open laptop smashes crowd-funding goal

May 19, 2014 | 09:50

Tags: #andrew-huang #bunnie #crowd-funding #crowdfunding #fpga #open-hardware

Companies: #andrew-bunnie-huang #arm #novena #open-source #xilinx

Novena, the open-hardware laptop designed by noted hacker Andrew 'Bunnie' Huang, has smashed its crowd-funding goal of $250,000, raising more than $700,000 as it closed this weekend - meaning production is now going ahead.

Unveiled as a concept design and early prototype in December 2012 with a crowd-funding campaign launched back in April, the Novena is designed to be a true hacker's laptop. While not exactly the most portable device around, the hardware and software are both fully open - including full documentation on how to program its ARM-based central processor, graphics processor and Xilinx field programmable gate array (FPGA) co-processor.

Matching the design of a late-model prototype unveiled in January this year, the crowd-funded versions were available in a choice of formats from a bare-bones desktop variant to a true laptop with in-built battery controller. Later in April, Bunnie unveiled stretch goals that included the promise of open-source 2D and 3D acceleration drivers, a general-purpose break-out board, a ROM chip emulation board, and a software-defined radio (SDR) module.

With the campaign on CrowdSupply having come to a close last night at an impressive $701,870 - 280 per cent of its original goal - those stretch goals have now been confirmed. Production of the devices is due to begin later this year, with the bare-board orders due to ship in six months, followed a month later by the desktop variant and a month after that by the laptop version. A final pledge level, a $5,000 Heirloom Laptop limited edition model, is due to ship nine months from now.

So far, Bunnie has not confirmed whether those who missed out on the campaign will be able to order units separately in the near future.
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