MakerLisp

EZ24AI - A new micro-controller for AI at the edge of the internet

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A low-cost, low-power, easy to use micro-controller that is designed around the idea of using the latest, low-cost, low-pin count, large memory devices. Local intelligence on small controllers means large (10 to 100 times the usual amount available, on small micro-controllers) amounts of moderate speed RAM. The total solution cost of a board with this micro-controller and RAM will be about 1/3 the cost of solutions with similar capabilities, built around the micro-controllers in the market now, that could support this amount of memory, - those other processors are full computer systems capable of running Linux or other advanced operating systems - but that's more complexity and cost than the applications I am targeting will want. This is a simple processor that will have the normal complement of capabilities for a micro-controller at this cost level ($1.50), but will support large memories, and in fact the solution cost will be dominated by the cost of RAM - but that will be better than competitive alternatives, because this chip will take advantage of the latest low pin count, advanced interface, memory products. Low pin count means low cost of processor, and low layer count and cost of the circuit board. The chip is literally designed around the memory controller.

This micro-controller will be accompanied by system software and a programming language environments, as in MakerLisp's current products (http://MakerLisp.com). 

Customers for this product will not all be traditional embedded processor customers. This chip and its supporting collateral will appeal to AI researchers and entrepreneurs who want to bring their high-level ideas down to tiny platforms, without having to get into the nuts and bolts that are usually required. They will program in Lisp, but still have access to the bare-metal of the machine (again, as in MakerLisp's current products). But now, with more capable, less expensive (and more available for purchase !) chips made in the USA.

Over the next couple of years, there will be a great demand for processors of moderate processing power, with large amounts of local memory, in small, inexpensive, low-power systems. This micro-controller is designed for that need. And MakerLisp's current system products and software will be a starter, development or evaluation environment. But the micro-controller will likely find its way into more traditional applications as well.

I am looking for funding to support myself while I develop the chip, and create a first prototype product, in an FPGA. The next step will be to take this through an ASIC flow, to get the cost and power down. The target date for getting the FPGA implementation done is March 1, 2022. The target for the ASIC/gate array version is July 1, 2022. I have extensive software and hardware experience in embedded system design, and processor architecture, and I have assembled a team of contract engineers for certain key tasks in the implementation of the chip. I have no doubt that we can make it, and that it will work, and perform. I do need advice and support in the areas of marketing and sales, and I am looking for my funder(s) to help me make the connections I need to make this venture a success.

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