At the Design Automation Conference in June 2012, tech blogger JL Gray posed a question: Can you build a chip to prototype, that would interest a potential investor to take it all the way to production, for $10,000? The question launched a 6-month investigation by New Tech Press to get an answer. Dozens of entrepreneurs, analysts, investors and engineers accepted invitations to discuss the subject. While most wished to remain anonymous a few agreed to go as far as to be captured on video. We will be rolling out the series for the next few weeks with links to several articles in other publications. The video platform we are using is from meBox! Media that will allow viewers to interact with and share the content on a broad level. We encourage your input in comments on this site, however if you wish to remain anonymous, you can send private comments directly to us by clicking on the email button on each video. Hover your cursor over the screen to expose the engagement buttons. The series we start today is the best of those meetings, anchored with a three-part interview with Gary Smith, chief analyst for GarySmithEDA. Gary starts with the basics of the question, starting from the use of low-cost FPGAs and free tools, through the actual costs of manufacturing and ways to keep tool costs low.