Microchip launched the open source USB/TCPIP stack competition. The developer who writes, or ports, open source USB and TCPIP drivers to the chipKIT will receive a $1000 bounty (now $1100 and growing):
Prizes look like they’ll be around $1000 for each stack developed/ported and that’s in your pocket. We’ll gross up the amount to cover the taxes. I spoke with our Development Tools team and they have 10 chipKIT MAX32 boards and Network Shields that they’ll donate to the first 10 people to sign up.
[The contest page is here]. The submission email address is ChipKit.Contest@microchip.com. If you have any difficulties whatsoever, just post here and I’ll keep an eye on the blog. As for the 10 kits we have to give away, I kind of like the idea that the first 10 submissions will each get a kit. If anyone has any objections to this we can certainly modify this requirement based on suggestions. Nothing’s set in stone for that portion of the contest. Anyhoo…good luck!!
It’s a huge development and here’s why: Microchip admits they have a problem, and they’d like to find a solution. Microchip knows they need to have open software to be the de facto choice of the hobbyists and students who go on to become engineers. AVR is eating PIC’s lunch in that department. It isn’t hurting them much today, but thanks to Arduino there will be many more engineers raised on Atmel/AVRs in the very near future. Facing the problem and backing a solution is the big win, a competition with prize money is secondary to that. Kudos to Microchip.
We’re tossing in $100 for each stack they choose too. Several private donors also wrote to ask how they could contribute money to the prize. Does anyone know if there is an online service for something like this?