One Million Dollars For A Shader-Based LGPLv3 GPU
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 8 October 2013 at 01:48 PM EDT. 45 Comments
A company is going to attempt to open-source their graphics accelerator 2D hardware design under the LGPLv3 license. Additionally, they claim for one million dollars they would be able to come up with a 3D shader-based open-source graphics accelerator.

Back in July I wrote asking Phoronix readers whether an open-source GPU would work on Kickstarter? That question was prompted by an individual at a company looking to wind down their business operations emailing me with the idea of open-sourcing their designs via a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign.

That same individual, Francis Bruno, now intends to launch such a Kickstarter campaign tomorrow. The Kickstarter campaign is to open-source their 2D accelerator design and to produce an open-source Shader-based accelerator if they can raise one million USD -- 3D support is their reported stretch goal.

Under the LGPLv3 they would be open-sourcing their Verilog source code, test benches, and "everything needed to roll your own graphics accelerator."

Francis Bruno claims, "Even at our lowest level of support, we would be opensourcing a 2D product which is good enough to drive a Linux box or PC and small enough that a $10 FPGA can handle it."

This is an interesting project given that past attempts have failed with initiatives like Project VGA.

I've already written in the past why the open-source graphics card failed, but if you're interested in more details on this to-be-announced Kickstarter project, some early details are on the Silicon Spectrum Facebook page.

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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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