The GPLv3 GPU Is Now Available
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 3 August 2014 at 12:06 PM EDT. 26 Comments
The GPLGPU is now available, a GPLv3-licensed Verilog design for a 2D/3D graphics engine.

There's long been community-based projects to create an open-source GPU design at the hardware level, but these open-source graphics card designs have ultimately failed not to mention being years (or in many cases, over a decade) behind AMD/Intel/NVIDIA in their graphics capabilities. Kickstarter-based open-source GPUs have also not panned out thus far. Launched this week though is now the source to a new 2D/3D graphics engine design based on the project that hoped to raise a million dollars for its work.


Don't get your hopes up with the GPLGPU with a design of a GPU from the late 90's... Even this outdated, failed graphics card from XGI would likely even be much faster.


The "GPLGPU" source-code is out as a GPLv3-licensed Verilog design to a graphics engine. The design is around a "circa 1998 graphics processor" while portions of the code have been updated. Commercial licenses to the GPU design are also said to be made available.

Those wishing to learn more about this design that could be incorporated into a PCI VGA device, there's a blog at GPLGPU.com documenting the work while the code is hosted on GitHub. The Verilog was tested on a Synopsys VCS simulator and the Mentor Graphics Modelsim Questasim while it should be possible to develop an ASIC around it or run it off an FPGA.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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