1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Would A Kickstarter Open-Source GPU Work?

Free Software

Published on 16 July 2013 06:05 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
105 Comments

The Kickstarter crowd-funding development platform has successfully worked for funding many computer games, a few interesting hardware projects, and other initiatives, but would it work for having an open-source graphics processor? A company may be turning to Kickstarter to open-source their 2D and 3D graphics designs.

I was contacted earlier today by a company that's been around for a number of years and they are contemplating open-sourcing their 2D/3D graphics engine if they are able to obtain funding via Kickstarter. Their 3D-capable VGA-compliant graphics engine is designed to run on a FPGA and they are willing to "open source the whole thing" if their financing is a success. Up to now the company has licensed their technology to various firms.

Their "open-sourcing" would be in the form of Verilog with test benches and the whole shebang, including designs for the Xilinx and Altera FPGAs. The company asked me if they think putting it on Kickstarter would be a success, but I figured I'd open the question to the Phoronix community itself as many already know my thoughts on licensing, why the open-source graphics card failed, etc.

There's already been Project VGA and other initiatives to create open-source FPGA graphics cards and they have all basically failed miserably. For most users, the level of open-source drivers to Radeon, Intel, and Nouveau are already good enough without needing the physical designs or source access to the microcode blobs. Spending less than $50 on a AMD or NVIDIA graphics card is likely to yield much better success for desktop end-users -- in terms of features, performance, and reliability -- than contributing any dollar about to a Kickstarter (or any community-based) open-source GPU project.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. AMD R600g/RadeonSI Performance On Linux 3.16 With Mesa 10.3-devel
  2. Intel Pentium G3258 On Linux
  3. SilverStone Precision PS10
  4. ASRock Z97 Extreme6
Latest Linux Articles
  1. KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10
  2. X.Org Server 1.16 Officially Released With Terrific Features
  3. Ubuntu With Linux 3.16 Smashes OS X 10.9.4 On The MacBook Air
  4. Preview: Benchmarking CentOS 7.0 & Scientific Linux 7.0
Latest Linux News
  1. Fedora 21 Has Been Delayed By Three Weeks
  2. Mono Begins To Focus On Performance, Assembles A Team
  3. Oracle Linux 7 Released Today As Its RHEL7 Clone
  4. Unigine Develops City Traffic System, A Driving Simulator
  5. Intel 3.0 X.Org Driver Still Baking, New Development Release
  6. Eric Anholt Makes Progress With Broadcom VC4 Graphics Driver
  7. Intel Is Getting Very Close To OpenGL 4.0/4.1/4.2 Mesa Support
  8. Valve Is Still Hiring For SteamOS, Linux Work
  9. Users Warned About Possible Regressions With DRI3
  10. GNOME Shell Gets Wayland HiDPI Fonts, Mutter Gets Touch Gestures
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Radeon related kernel bug??
  2. how the US intellegentia operates:
  3. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  4. AMD Publishes Open-Source Linux HSA Kernel Driver
  5. Next-Gen OpenGL To Be Announced Next Month
  6. Open-Source Radeon Performance Boosted By Linux 3.16
  7. Remote gui not accessible in Phoronix Test Suite 5.2
  8. AMD "Hawaii" Open-Source GPU Acceleration Still Not Working Right