Off topic: Introducing Precursor

Not a retro-computer, but this open-hardware system may interest some. Bunnie Huang says you can reprogram the FPGA to become any CPU you want.

If you’ve ever wanted to customize your CPU’s instruction set, experiment with hardware accelerators, or make cycle-accurate simulations of retro-hardware, Precursor has you covered. And the best part is, thanks to Precursor’s highly integrated design philosophy, you can take all that hard work out of the lab and on the road.
If you’ve ever wanted to hack on mobile hardware, Precursor was made for you. By combining an FPGA dev board, a battery, a case, a display, and a keyboard into a single thin, pocket-ready package, it makes it easier than ever to go from a concept to a road-ready piece of hardware.

Precursor will soon be crowdfunding on Crowd Supply. Learn more about its specifications on our pre-launch page, and sign up for our mailing list so that you can take advantage of early-bird pricing when the campaign goes live.


Thanks for the introduction to Precursor.

This sounds a neat project, and Bunnie Huang is very well known and respected within the open hardware community.

I had a similar idea for a students “hack pack” that consisted of a cheap 7" tablet, a similar sized bluetooth keyboard and a configurable pcb that contained the FPGA hardware.

The intention was that the hardware on the device could be used as multimeter, oscilloscope, spectrum analyser and logic analyser - all the basic test instruments a student of EE or CS might require.

The whole thing would fit into a plastic case about the size of an old VHS videotape case, that also doubled as an adjustable stand for the tablet.

The reason for the separate keyboard was to allow easy editing of code - which is essential with any FPGA project.

I hope that Bunnie’s integrated design proves to be successful, but I would not be surprised if it is used in conjunction with a laptop or remote keyboard for data entry.