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Thread: One Million Dollars For A Shader-Based LGPLv3 GPU

  1. #11
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    I don't understand the purpose of this undertaking. Maybe people who are interested in building custom SOC are interested in not paying royalties for commercial IP, but I don't understand what is the interest of general audience. Such a GPU wouldn't be competitive with designs of billion dollar companies anyway.

    I see one use for this IP - as a component of a secure mobile device for security paranoiacs afraid of hardware backdoors in wireless modems and CPUs, built on giant expensive FPGA. But for this use case I think 2d is sufficient.

  2. #12
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    This is obviously not to replace a GTX TITAN with an open hardware GPU...

    But this is useful to the general public just as the early release of the Linux kernel where.
    Just because it couldn't be used by mainstream to replace existing commercial products at that time does not mean it was useless.

    This could be used:
    - for educational purpose
    - for start ups looking to leverage open source to bring a some cool products (by designing on FPGA then moving to asic)
    - as a base for more powerful, more capable open hardware in the future.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cb88 View Post
    From what I see... they *already* have similar GPUs they just need the money to roll it all together and release it as LGPLv3. The point of this is that for at least one device... the full stack would be open source. That IS definitly worth the effort. No legal teams holding back the specs it would all be out in the open.. and with continuing development in the open.
    And what are those GPUs capable of? Are they just a very basic 2D GPU like I would have had in my 286? Are they the equivalent of an old ATI Mach64 or the like due to the hardware patents having expired much like the Vortex86 i586 CPUs?

    I'd rather we get high performance out of high tech hardware with OSS drivers then waste time and money on a GPU that nobody but RMS will buy.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by erendorn View Post
    This is obviously not to replace a GTX TITAN with an open hardware GPU...

    But this is useful to the general public just as the early release of the Linux kernel where.
    Just because it couldn't be used by mainstream to replace existing commercial products at that time does not mean it was useless.

    This could be used:
    - for educational purpose
    - for start ups looking to leverage open source to bring a some cool products (by designing on FPGA then moving to asic)
    - as a base for more powerful, more capable open hardware in the future.
    Whats the break even point? Is there now a big enough market to make back what is spent before due to hardware advancements the educational value is lost completely like the last time this was tried?

    Theres a big difference between hardware and software, software doesn't leave you with several hundred chips that nobody wants at your own expense.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kivada View Post
    Whats the break even point? Is there now a big enough market to make back what is spent before due to hardware advancements the educational value is lost completely like the last time this was tried?

    Theres a big difference between hardware and software, software doesn't leave you with several hundred chips that nobody wants at your own expense.
    This difference doesn't really apply to FPGA, though.

    This is a "software for hardware" project, that can be snapshoted by anyone to fully hardware state whenever sufficient scale in demand is met.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by erendorn View Post
    This difference doesn't really apply to FPGA, though.

    This is a "software for hardware" project, that can be snapshoted by anyone to fully hardware state whenever sufficient scale in demand is met.
    IIRC FPGAs have some pretty bad performance limitations because they are prototyping chips, not something designed to be useful to end users unlike the fantasies put out by those that think that they are the be all, end all of technology.

    What can be learned that can't be learned from existing products?

    With an LGPLv3 license, what are the odds of it ending up in an ARM or MIPS system?

    It's still money best spent making the Gallium3D drivers and OpenGL stack feature complete by hiring a few people to make that their day job.

  7. #17
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    Kickstarter link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...-processor-gpu

    I really hope this project reaches all stretch goals. Its a really interesting concept.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tarceri View Post
    Kickstarter link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...-processor-gpu

    I really hope this project reaches all stretch goals. Its a really interesting concept.
    Even their best case scenario isn't even OpenGL2.1 capable. Not much use for a shader GPU then, since all the fun programmable shader stuff is in OpenGL3+

    So again, what will be learned that can't be learned from the now public domain chip designs and the failed OSS GPU project that preceded this?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kivada View Post
    IIRC FPGAs have some pretty bad performance limitations because they are prototyping chips, not something designed to be useful to end users unlike the fantasies put out by those that think that they are the be all, end all of technology.

    What can be learned that can't be learned from existing products?

    With an LGPLv3 license, what are the odds of it ending up in an ARM or MIPS system?

    It's still money best spent making the Gallium3D drivers and OpenGL stack feature complete by hiring a few people to make that their day job.
    When you have a business plan that will bring sufficient scale and require sufficient performance, you'll fab chips. That's how it works for a lot of hardware, except here the source is not proprietary. You know. That's how open source work.

    I don't know why having a LGPLv3 license would prevent it being used with anything. You chip can communicate with other chips, regardless of their license.

    Money would be even better spent on ending world hunger, or in cancer research. Hey, in my opinion, I'd better have money spent on btrfs RAID5 than Gallium3D. What's your point?
    This is hardware code for a generic, 3D capable GPU. How can the mainstream-desktop-user focused, Linux graphic stack specific, GPU driver code be compared to that in any meaningful way?

  10. #20
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    Francis I just wanted to say you should probably spend some time dumbing things down a little bit for example you need to explain the concepts a bit more thoroughly for people that are interested in the concept but don't understand how it all works.

    Some things I recommend expanding on:
    - What is an FPGA? and why would people be interested in it.
    - What is Verilog?
    - What is the difference between an ASIC and FPGA?
    - Any other things that are basic to understanding what the project is about.

    You campaign at the moment seems targeted only at those who already know what all these technologies are about and that is limiting your potential backers. In my opinion you need to add a bit more marketing to your campaign. I think you should add a whole new section "Why back this project?" here you really need to sell the idea to both education/developers/graphics enthusiasts but also to people interested in open source but are not technical there are many people out there that are not programmers but still very interested in supporting open source.

    Finally I've added you campaign to Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/linux/commen...u_kickstarter/
    You should keep an eye on the comments it will give you a good idea on how to refine your campaign page to answer common questions people have.

    Good luck

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