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One Million Dollars For A Shader-Based LGPLv3 GPU

Hardware

Published on 08 October 2013 01:48 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
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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