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Would A Kickstarter Open-Source GPU Work?

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  • #51
    Originally posted by c117152 View Post
    This open GPU idea isn't "development of ideas or outside the box thinking". It's taking something we have on the shelf, from a half dozen companies, and reinventing it.
    If this was an initiative to buy the patent rights of an established and successful GPU, and then release them under a copyleft* open hardware public license, I would be all for it. This way manufacturers would keep using it since it's already a success, but would also contribute improvements over time while keeping the tech accessible and affordable.
    And still, the amount of money necessary to pull something like this off is quite substantial. AMD sold their own to Qualcomm for 64M (http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/20/a...lcomm-for-64m/) and it was considered a bargain at the time.
    So, I stick to my previous statement, and add, "Hell No".

    *With hardware there's no difficulty in taking and not giving back since you're not wasting time on maintaining a code base on your own, so a designe released under a permissive license would have no hope of seeing upstream contributions.
    You miss my main point there are always going to be people like you that say "Hell No" thats why Kickstarter is the perfect platform for something like this because people can fund what ever they want it doesnt matter what you or any bank think.

    "It's taking something we have on the shelf, from a half dozen companies, and reinventing it" Um, well that would be both development of an idea and outside the box thinking wouldnt it. "Reinventing it" as apposed to reimplementing it.

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    • #52
      Sounds very interesting.

      Please do post some information of what it is capable off.
      What OpenGL versions, EGL and stuff.

      There is the OpenCores project http://opencores.org/
      To bad they called their CPU instruction set the OpenRISC instruction set.

      And by the way, the code release is a starting point for open source development, not an end.
      It would be really interesting though if OpenGL (ES) 2 was supported.

      Do need the licence rights carried over to an organization, maybe OpenCores is the best place for doing that.

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      • #53
        I found an interesting thesis paper that describes implementing 3D Graphics Accelerator for FPGA that is capable of running Quake 3. See: http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/get...FULLTEXT01.pdf

        With seemingly multiple student projects having implemented something alone these lines (although seemingly incomplete) I'm surprised there isnt already some open source work out there somewhere.

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        • #54
          Originally posted by necro-lover View Post
          http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...rietary-driver

          Nvidia also do have a plan to opensource there drivers. So we better support this kickstarter projekt.
          Nvidia could go this route to gauge the interest in an open GPU by setting up some shell company and then under this shell company's name put out a design for a GPU along with specs (certainly not in any way related to their current line of GPU's)

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          • #55
            Awesome. Openness is evolution.

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            • #56
              Originally posted by timothyja View Post
              You miss my main point there are always going to be people like you that say "Hell No" thats why Kickstarter is the perfect platform for something like this because people can fund what ever they want it doesnt matter what you or any bank think.
              People being happy with wasting money on a delusional project doesnt, in itself, make it a non - waste...
              "It's taking something we have on the shelf, from a half dozen companies, and reinventing it" Um, well that would be both development of an idea and outside the box thinking wouldnt it.
              no, this is more about "jumping on the bandwagon" than anything...

              the "idea" to be developed is all but new;

              the chip to be designed is not some new exotic architecture, rather something that is able to DECENTLY run EXISTING graphic API's - and that, in order to do so, will inevitably and necessarily employ a design not too dissimilar (wrt the structure and organizazion of the functional units) from its very competitors (*);

              and, implementing a gpu in an FPGA instead of an asic, is not "thinking out of the box", it squarely falls into the definition of "prototyping" as it's precisely what is done before manufacturing a custom chip (implementing the same logic but allowing for lower costs, higher economies of scale and, often, higher clockspeeds - fpga's are usually clock limited, except very costly ones)

              (*) moreover: what nobody has thought of until now, is PATENTS
              this is no more a free/ open source sw project for an important yet commoditized component as in the case of your beloved unix like kernel and OS - protected by sw patents not being enforceable everywhere, and by prior art and portfolios on the part of Oracle (formerly Sun), IBM and others
              this is about hardware, a physical product that is built and sold, for which you cannot say patents dont apply and keep a straight face
              especially given who are he ones who hold related patents
              unless you're deliberately building something that will assure not to infringe on patents AMD or NVidia or the likes (who you can be sure will screw you till forever if you do) hold, by NOT being competitive on feature, performance, or both
              but then, what was the point of it again?

              everything that is required to implement any state of the art architectural or feature is patented by one or another, so a chip that is competitive ends up infringing one or more patents that would have to be negotiated and paid royalties for, there's no escape...
              moreover, with nvidia not even publishing their own specifications to avoid implementation details leaking out, if an open source hw design happened to have coinciding details, do you really think nvidia wouldnt crush it immediately?
              Last edited by silix; 07-17-2013, 10:13 AM.

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              • #57
                Michael Larabel, of course it should

                open source is about sharing and thus every news of any body wanting to join in should be welcomed with a big smile and arms wide opened.
                In particular if such a body is more or less commercially defined institution we should only encourage those responsible for these decisions, we should cheer up even more for them.
                It does not matter that Intel a longer while ago and AMD only recently have started waking up to the open source world, don't mind NVIDIA we don't need them, but! don't mind any of these three. Graphics and images are for us humans to feed our one out of five (or more) senses but it's not only PC but, not newly born anymore but still relatively new whole world of all the "attached-to-person" devices too. Now, would it not be great if open source had an open hardware sibling? Or child or however called, here in this case probably most important part of the cybernetic organism.
                And then software and hardware being as one. Tease your imagination? No legal restrictions no patents, no judicial threads no diabolic layers and likewise trolls. Software programmers and circuit engineers working together by the same "desk", sure it works this way now, but!! here imagine on the planetary scale! everywhere open source can reach!
                Would it not be nice? hmm.. author/owner of this website said no!? I'm all up for it!!

                ps. horribly hot here in Cambridge

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                • #58
                  Originally posted by silix View Post
                  People being happy with wasting money on a delusional project doesnt, in itself, make it a non - waste...
                  no, this is more about "jumping on the bandwagon" than anything...

                  the "idea" to be developed is all but new;

                  the chip to be designed is not some new exotic architecture, rather something that is able to DECENTLY run EXISTING graphic API's - and that, in order to do so, will inevitably and necessarily employ a design not too dissimilar (wrt the structure and organizazion of the functional units) from its very competitors (*);

                  and, implementing a gpu in an FPGA instead of an asic, is not "thinking out of the box", it squarely falls into the definition of "prototyping" as it's precisely what is done before manufacturing a custom chip (implementing the same logic but allowing for lower costs, higher economies of scale and, often, higher clockspeeds - fpga's are usually clock limited, except very costly ones)

                  (*) moreover: what nobody has thought of until now, is PATENTS
                  this is no more a free/ open source sw project for an important yet commoditized component as in the case of your beloved unix like kernel and OS - protected by sw patents not being enforceable everywhere, and by prior art and portfolios on the part of Oracle (formerly Sun), IBM and others
                  this is about hardware, a physical product that is built and sold, for which you cannot say patents dont apply and keep a straight face
                  especially given who are he ones who hold related patents
                  unless you're deliberately building something that will assure not to infringe on patents AMD or NVidia or the likes (who you can be sure will screw you till forever if you do) hold, by NOT being competitive on feature, performance, or both
                  but then, what was the point of it again?

                  everything that is required to implement any state of the art architectural or feature is patented by one or another, so a chip that is competitive ends up infringing one or more patents that would have to be negotiated and paid royalties for, there's no escape...
                  moreover, with nvidia not even publishing their own specifications to avoid implementation details leaking out, if an open source hw design happened to have coinciding details, do you really think nvidia wouldnt crush it immediately?



                  Implementing a GPU ISA to an FPGA is wrong. Having a 20 layer GPGPU FPGA like Tabula's, that is capable as an ASIC, and then have it decide the best configuration on-the-fly for each source-program-algorithm is the best, that is called sophisticated_computing. Taking a MISC pseudo-ISA and automatically make it more complex blocks. Full programmable or partially makes no difference. If you try for an ASIC with a full GPU-ISA, you will have patent problems for sure and high maintaining costs for new shader-models. If you don't have a full SoC with Cpu an wireless as well, you will extinct inside 1-2 years. Also you need to consider that Leased-Free tech is also free. You may pay a 10% from your profits for 3-5 years but its free. You just have to use this or convince some one to have his technology under that.


                  For me you can take Loongson L3C as a base CPU core: 1024bit-Fmac-Fpu, 10+dmips/mhz, 40million-transistors(with L1+L2), china has not patents for maths, MIPS has only patents for 2-4 instruction that they didn't use on early Loongson. Then you can have a Gpu near Vivante or Creative Stem-cell Apu, with Tflop/watt (Toshiba had Tflop/watt Dsp on 65nm), Vivante has 50Gflops/50-80mwatt on 28nm. You can also have it cemi-upgrade-able(Microcode for example) for new shader-models and instructions. Then add wireless between 802.11ac and Wimax2, and share capabilities, even unofficial. Also make ADSL routers with the same share capabilities, and program them to give the 80% of the speed to their boss when needed and 100% share when not. Then you can start an IP to IP web service, so we all have different IPs even if we are connected via Shared-Wireless. At the end do cheap pocket-PCs with gestures via camera or infrared or other tech, and 720p pico laser projectors.

                  At the end if you just want to make your fun, don't even start it, you will be hated. If you want to go free, then respect the 2 sacred rules: 1.Technologically Advanced, not common, ISA is for monopoly. 2.Destroy the equal closed one.
                  Last edited by artivision; 07-17-2013, 01:31 PM.

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                  • #59
                    It would be worth it if:
                    - it would work somewhere like Intel HD 3000 / 4000 (or better)
                    - would be easily Linux supported

                    The it could replace all those "weird" graphics on ARM-based single board computers that are supported nicely only on Android.

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                    • #60
                      Are patents the killer of opensource development projects? It would be sad if one company in its own interests is allowed to hold a patents that make opensource projects impossible.

                      One company working for its own interest and that of its shareholders (make more $$$ exploit when it can etc..) v.s. humanity in its FOS style?
                      Your thoughts?

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