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. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Radeon Graphics Yield Mixed Results With Linux 3.17 Kernel
  2. AMD's RadeonSI Driver Sped Up A Lot This Summer
  3. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  4. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Preview Of AMD Radeon R9 290 Hawaii Open-Source Performance
  2. Intel Bay Trail Performance With Linux 3.16/3.17 & Mesa 10.3
  3. EFL Sees A Ton Of Work Following Recent v1.11 Release
  4. ARM Talks Up Wayland For Mali
  5. GNOME/GTK+ Human Interface Guidelines Updated
  6. Robocraft Is Rolling Over To Linux
  7. The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter
  8. Wayland & Weston 1.6 Alpha Released
  9. A New First-Person Mystery Game Might Be Coming To Linux
  10. Patch By Patch, LLVM Clang Gets Better At Building The Linux Kernel
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  2. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  3. OSS radeon driver for A10-7850K (Kaveri)
  4. Could be avoid to use flash for show the benchmark on the articles?
  5. American Citizens running AMOK for food stamps
  6. What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?
  7. Company I work for is looking to contribute to Open Source projects... but wrongly?
  8. Microsoft vs. Campaign