The Fastest 100% Open Source Hardware Computers
The Fastest 100% Open Source Hardware Computers
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, June 27 2019 8:40 AM UTC +00:00.
The world's fastest 100% open-source hardware single-board computer.
Popcorn Computer is a next generation single-board computer brand.
We would like to present the result of two years of effort by Source Parts, two brand-new and unique open hardware computers: Original Popcorn and Super Popcorn.
It comes in two flavors, one with 4 CPUs, Super Popcorn, and another with 8 CPUs which we call 'Super 8' Popcorn.
Super Popcorn and Super '8' Popcorn share many of the same specifications.
They only differ in the main processor.
Amlogic S905D (Super Popcorn)
- 1.5GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A53 CPU
- Mali 450 MP3 Graphics Processor Unit
Amlogic S912 (Super '8' Popcorn)
- 1.5GHz + 1.0GHz Octa-Core Cortext-A53 CPU
- Mali T820 MP3 Graphics Processor Unit
- 1GB DDR4
- 32GB eMMC Memory Storage
- 2x USB (1xUSB-A Host and 1x USB 2.0 OTG Type-C)
- WiFi b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.2
- Up to 62 GPIO
- HDMI 2.0b Video Output
- Digital Video Port (DVP) Camera Input
- Battery Charging and Power
- Supports RGB LCD, 1-Wire, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM Output and ADC
- Digital Audio Output and Input
- Analog Stereo Audio
The Original Popcorn Computer
In addition to Super Popcorn, we created a C.H.I.P derivative named Original Popcorn Computer. Original Popcorn is pin-to-pin compatible and 100% software compatible with C.H.I.P. With USB-C Technology, you will have all the power to do what you want to do while keeping the lights on. It has built-in eMMC memory that is reliable, fast and tested to work which means you don't have to go searching for the right SD card. It has a built-in USB Serial adapter so you can quickly debug without having to grab the right adapter and connect wires. If you already own a PocketC.H.I.P, you can give it an upgrade with Original Popcorn.
- Allwinner R8/A13 1GHz CPU
- 512MB DDR3 RAM
- 32GB eMMC Memory Storage
- 2x USB-C Connectors (1x USB 2.0 and 1x USB OTG)
- WiFi b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.0
- Up to 45 GPIO
- Composite Video Output
- Battery Charging and Power
- Built-in USB Serial Adapter
- Analog Audio over USB-C Connector
- Supports RGB LCD, 1-Wire, UART, I2C, SPI and PWM Output
Original Popcorn also has a companion board. Meet Stovetop! It takes its namesake from the idea that you can *cook* your Popcorn ideas on the Stovetop. It provides HDMI Video output with Audio, 100Mbit Ethernet, USB-C Power Input and a USB-C Serial Debug connector. It is essential for anyone who is more familiar developing with a graphical environment compared to a command-line based environment.
What is Popcorn Computer?
We are building the next-generation of single board computers. They are simple enough that you can learn what every part and subsystem does. Powerful enough that you can apply it to real world applications while learning new concepts without significant difficulty or inherent limitations. We made it user-friendly by eliminating many of the hurdles that are most commonly encountered as a first time user. We designed it to be reliable by eliminating components prone to failure.
We have been developing web-based and offline cross-platform flashing, cloning, and backup tools. Our tools will provide up-to-date software distributions with full hardware support and the latest security patches.
Our web-based tools will work with any device with Google Chrome web-browser or the open-source Chromium web-browser. Since Chrome and Chromium is available on Windows, OSX, Android and Chrome OS, all devices running these operating systems will be compatible. You will be able to flash, back-up and clone your Popcorn Computer with an Android phone without having to install an APP.
If you prefer not to or can not use a web-based tool, we are planning to launch a cross-platform compatible off-line tool for flashing, back-up and cloning.
We want to see what people will build with the fastest credit-card sized computer on the market. We already have planned and begun work on a wide range of companion products and software tools to ease development of new projects and products.
The Origins of Popcorn Computer
C.H.I.P was a unique and useful platform that was liked and used by a community of over 100,000 people. The fact that it is credit-card size allows products to be quickly developed by using it as a platform for prototyping all the way through to production. We wanted to build the smallest and fastest single board computer on the market. Therefore since C.H.I.P. is open source hardware, we took what worked and threw out what didn't.
Who are we?
At Source Parts, we have sourced, designed, assembled and tested tens of thousands of parts and completed products for our customers. Source Parts is an American company with main operations in and surrounding the Hua Qiang Bei electronics markets in Shenzhen, China. We have direct access and insight over the complete supply-chain for the longevity of the products and parts that we design, source, build and ship. Source Parts was founded by Jose Angel Torres and Ileana Torres in March of 2017. Source Parts is not affiliated with Next Thing Co.
- Jose Angel Torres
- Ileana Torres
- Scott Ryan
Jose is trained as an Electrical Engineer and CEO of Source parts. He moved to Shenzhen, China a little over a year ago to get a closer look and a better understanding of the manufacturing ecosystem firsthand. He had previously been sourcing components from the electronics markets in Hua Qiang Bei for over ten years. Jose has sourced tens of thousands of components and has manufactured tens of thousands of units which have been shipped around the world.
Jose doesn’t just want to make a circuit board and ship it. He pays careful attention to aesthetics as he believes circuit boards can also be a work of art. In order to maximize the impact of his work and ensure that it reaches a great number of people, he is striving to build a great community around the hardware and software that he makes available to the world. He understands that the success of Popcorn Computer is dependent on a powerful community that will happily support those new to the technology as well as those with innovative ideas that may navigate through uncharted territory.
Jose was the lead electrical engineer behind PocketC.H.I.P. and the CHIP Pro Dev Kit. He built the test fixtures for C.H.I.P., PocketCHIP and the C.H.I.P Pro Dev Kit. He helped ramp up production of tens of thousands of units in Shenzhen, China.
Ileana is a stellar business operations specialist. She is COO of Source Parts.
Scott Ryan brings innovative solutions to complex problems in design and manufacture. He has been known to run every aspect of the electrical design through his head countless times to ensure that a product is ready for manufacture and test. Because of his ingenuity, products that Scott is involved in seeing through to manufacture, ship on time and on budget.
Our Production Plan
Our manufacturing partner has already sourced all the components for Super Popcorn and they are currently in an environment controlled warehouse. We have gone through multiple revisions to ensure that we can take advantage of the existing supply chain by using readily available parts.
The next step is to go through a Production Validation Test (P.V.T.) to ensure that the manufacturing process is fine-tuned for high-yield. This is where we will deploy our test fixtures in a production environment to ensure that they are able to withstand testing thousands of units in rapid succession. For P.V.T., we will produce five hundred units of Popcorn and five hundred units of Super Popcorn. P.V.T. on consecutive days. These units will be shipped to our Beta Unit backers.
Once we have resolved any issues that may arise during P.V.T. and have allowed for ample time for our Beta Unit Backers to provide feedback, we will proceed with Mass Production no more than four weeks after.
Our partner factory has assured us that they are able to manufacture and test five thousand units within 8 weeks time. We have confirmed this ability by spending significant time in the factory monitoring production of an order of similar size and complexity.
Jose lives less than an hour away from the factory and will be on-site throughout the duration of the production process. He also lives less than ten minutes away from the world’s largest electronics markets where he sources all of the components.
Funding and Fulfillment
Why a $250,000 target?
To ensure that we deliver, we have obtained a manufacturer or distributor quote for every component. The costs are broken down broadly above. Naturally, the electronic components are the most expensive, followed by the PCB and assembly.
To produce Popcorn Computers at a reasonable cost, we need to purchase components in large quantities and produce a lot of them (5000+) at one time.
We've also added risk mitigation factors to account for other variables; Kickstarter failed payments and any future tariffs may incur unforeseen costs during shipment.
To ensure reliable and fastest possible delivery service to the most locations around the world, we've selected Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) service to ship directly to you. As soon as all Popcorn Computers are tested and packaged, they will be shipped to an Amazon Fulfillment center closest to you.
When will I get one?
Our goal is to ship five hundred Beta units by August 1st.
Production units will ship by November 1st.
These are the dates that packaged and tested Popcorn Computers will ship to an Amazon Fulfillment Warehouse.
Risks and challenges
Generally, If a problem should arise during production, delivery could be substantially delayed if the client has to rely on email or phone communications to try to resolve the issue. In our case, Jose lives less than an hour away from the factory where we intend on producing the units and he will be on hand to immediately address the issue.
Sometimes, campaigns are delayed due to the sudden unavailability of components. In our case, all of the components to produce 4,500 units of Super Popcorn have already been procured by our supplier. Should a component become unavailable, Jose lives less than 10 minutes from the world’s largest electronics component markets in Shenzhen, China and can find an alternative supplier the same day.
We have ensured that all components used in Super Popcorn and Original Popcorn are available on the open market here in Shenzhen.
We have working prototypes and are ready to mass produce them. What remains is producing the PCBs, assembly and testing. To ensure that we eliminate any potential electrical or software issues, we are launching a beta production run of 500 units. With our Beta users support, we will ensure that production units will be thoroughly tested.
With the support of our manufacturing and distribution partners, we are well prepared for the challenges ahead. We promise to be transparent and to keep our backers updated and informed about any issues that may arise and our solutions to address them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter