Opencores raises community funding for Open Source processor chip
A while back, Rune Svendsen commented on this website about creating an open source FPGA. He suggested building an entire open source tool suite and an FPGA architecture. He suggested raising donations from the general public to fund the chip.
The comments to his suggestion were generally skeptical. The numbers just didn't work out. In fact, they were off by several orders of magnitude. But even though the numbers were off, the idea was great. It was wild and crazy, but still great.
A few days ago, Opencores launched a similar idea, and they put their money where their mouth is. They are requesting donations from their users to bake an Open SPARC processor. They might have read Rune's earlier comment, or they might have come with the idea themselves. I think this is a nice example of how to make wild and crazy ideas work.
Opencores is aiming for $100k, not for $10M or $100M as Rune had suggested. They are working towards a CPU rather than an FPGA. These decisions turn a crazy and far-fetched idea into a workable project. Today, just a few days after their announcement, there are 256 users who have donated a total of over $11k!
I am putting in my bit; If you can spare some money, please donate.