CHIP (computer)

 

Next Thing Co. was an Oakland, California based start-up company founded in 2013 by Dave Rauchwerk, Gustavo Huber and Thomas Deckert. NTC initially launched CHIP computer via a successful Kickstarter campaign in May 2015. The campaign started with a goal of US$50,000, and ended with 39,560 backers pledging US$2,071,927.
CHIP was the original board, mostly targeting hobbyists. The system is built around the AllWinner R8 SoC processor, which integrates an ARM Cortex-A8 CPU (based on ARM architecture V7-A) and peripherals, such as Graphic Engine, UART, SPI, USB ports, CIR, CMOS Sensor Interface and LCD controller. The CPU is also accompanied by a NEON SIMD coprocessor and has RCT JAVA-Accelerations to optimize just-in-time (JIT) and dynamic adaptive compilation (DAC).
Few details were available in regard to CHIP's would-be successor or successors except it would have used Next Thing's own SiP GR8 instead of Allwinner's original R8. In addition to feature-sharing with CHIP Pro, the company wanted to "take advantage of CHIP Pro's much more stable supply chain" in order to address the uneasiness in its user base about the future of the product. In responding to user concerns, Next Thing also disclosed that more than one successor product line was in the works.
Pocket CHIP includes a CHIP, a case with a 4.3 inch 480ŕ272 pixel resistive touchscreen, a clicky keyboard, GPIO headers on the top of the device, and GPIO soldering pads inside of the injection mold case. A 5-hour battery is included. Following DIP specifications, the CHIP snaps into the case with no "screws or glues" creating a portable computer. On the lower right corner of the Pocket CHIP is a hexagonal hole that takes a standard #2 HB pencil. Inserting the pencil creates a stand that allows the Pocket CHIP to stand upright on a desk. Likewise, on the lower left is a circular hole for a pen.
While NTC has published many of its hardware and software repositories on GitHub, surviving CHIPsters (as CHIP users call themselves) also launched an effort in order to preserve useful document, software, and other artifacts by leveraging the Internet Archive (a.k.a. archive.org). One effort is led by a user who has never received his preordered CHIP. Another user set up a standalone site focusing on binary packages and GIT repo.