Project VGA

project vgaYou're on the Project VGA Page, welcome! Hope you enjoy it!


version 1
version 2
version 3
image (large)

Board art

Early beta
Artist impression (large)
Eagle Files v1.1
Eagle Files v1.2
This zip contains current schematic, board and library.


Block Diagram (SVG)
HDL Modules (SVG)

Places to go

Open Graphics Project
Cadsoft Eagle
Hogeschool van Amsterdam

xhtml 1.0 strict
GPL 3.0 License

Wacco Webstack


Posted on 2007/11/12 - 01:29

Last weekend there's been quite some traffic here with new visistors (Hi there! Hope you stick around!) and I saw a lot of people asking the same questions and/or making the same assumptions, so I figured I'd write down this frequently asked questions to clarify a few things.

200 Euros can't compete with an old ATI Radeon or card X
Correct. We're not. This is a development card meant to get development started on a usable platform, not to be an end product as a video card. If you don't want to spend extra bucks for a true open source system and you don't mind using closed source drivers under linux, and/or aren't interested in developing on programmable hardware, don't bother with this card.

You'll never get it under 200 Euros, your components alone cost E158
I know that number is given on the parts list but note that this list has more than enough parts for two cards. Components for one card are (roughly) E70. The moment we start making more cards simultaneously, this price goes way down. However, the cards will still need to assembled on a circuit board so there are additional costs (not mentioning packaging, administration, and whatnot) on top of this. That's why the estimate is E200, we're really aiming for E150 but simply don't know if that's realistic.

Will it do 3D in the future?
A more informative roadmap of what our plans are is in the making, but for now I can't answer this. The reason is that we're starting with basic VGA (your BIOS boot screen, and low resolutions like 640x480) and after that start working on 'custom' driver development which will add 2D. We might do 3D, yes, but it all depends on how big the community will grow who'll develop for this card, how far the OGP will get with 3D, and simply how much we can cram in this card. If it won't, a possible version 2 of this card will.

I want to help!
Ok, I admit, it's not a Frequently Asked Question, but it popped up so I'm going to include it here anyway. If you're not really of the tech-stuff, doesn't matter. Right now I'm looking for someone who's willing to do some art work for example (you might've noticed that this site doesn't contain much diagrams and stuff) so if you're a bit of a wizard with Gimp or photoshop, let me know. If you just want to donate money, I appreciate it, but I'm not accepting any yet. Hopefully we can make a buck with this card and won't even have to accept donations, or if we do, we might play it through the Open Hardware Foundation, if they're willing to help us out. All in all, if you can donate time, drop a comment here with what your skills are (again, doesn't have to be technical!) and I'll get back to you.

Update 11 Feb: I never seem to get around to actually contact people. Why won't you come join the party on our mailing list instead? You can subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help. Once you're subscribed you can send email messages to the list. Also, an rss feed is now available. See you there!

Getting a VGA signal is simple
Yes, a VGA compatible signal is relatively simple, but we're trying to implement the full VGA 'standard'. All the screen modes like the mode you're in when the BIOS shows it's splash screen, and those 'old' 640x480 resolutions. This includes a full VGA BIOS loaded during boot, which can then in turn be used by your PC BIOS, and all those other nitty gritty system calls which you can do with 'int 10h'.

Your license isn't really 'Open Source'
This is now a non-issue after we've switched to the GNU General Public License v3.0. If you still don't like this one, well, I don't know what will. :)

That's about it for now, I said there's been some traffic, not loads. If other common questions pop up I'll add them here. I'll add a progress update somewhere during the week.

[: wacco :]

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