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Would A Kickstarter Open-Source GPU Work?

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  • #71
    Me too would fund this project

    Originally posted by timothyja View Post
    I would throw some $ behind it just out of interest to see what they come up with.
    I am interested on having the design open source. We do not need blobs. I would be also interested on having a KickStarter project providing a wire-standard for programming the GPU or even the GPGPU independent of vendor. So one could use on driver for all GPUs. Something like USB.

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    • #72
      Originally posted by vanag View Post
      I would be also interested on having a KickStarter project providing a wire-standard for programming the GPU or even the GPGPU independent of vendor. So one could use on driver for all GPUs. Something like USB.
      Glide failed for a reason.

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      • #73
        I pretty much agree with Michael. Spending $50 on an AMD or NV card is a better solution (whether you then use open source drivers or closed source from AMD or NV).

        If someone wants to try to do an opensource GPU, hey have a ball. I just don't think there is much point.

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        • #74
          Originally posted by curaga View Post
          Glide failed for a reason.
          Wasn't Glide an early OpenGL implementation?

          Then again, my memory might not be what it used to be.

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          • #75
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glide_API

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            • #76
              Originally posted by movieman View Post
              That's, you know, kind of the point of patents: preventing other people from doing what you're doing without giving you money.

              And yes, they do make much open source hardware impossible.
              See: http://patentabsurdity.com/

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              • #77
                The cores have been used by a number of companies.
                Our target markets were vertical where they could absorb the costs of an FPGA board and also companies which needed to maintain compatibility w/ the older #9 boards (Air traffic Control, Medical Imaging, Military and Avionics).
                We don't make enough to keep it going as a full time venture, so the thought was to see if it made sense to open source the GPU and let other companies use it.

                My thoughts are essentially GPL. My main goal would be that if companies modify the Graphics core itself, that changes become open source also.

                This all needs to be worked out with my business partner.

                Originally posted by timothyja View Post
                From Michaels post: "Up to now the company has licensed their technology to various firms."

                So I would assume the company both already has a working product (not starting from nowhere) and already has its market figured out.

                Again I would back this out of interest rather than expecting to get a great gpu.

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                • #78
                  Originally posted by timothyja View Post
                  Well we really need more details on what they are aiming to do to make any worthwhile comments. However I would assume they would definatly not be aiming for a top end GPU.
                  The GPU is roughly equivalent to a 1998 graphics accelerator in performance and features when implemented on a low end FPGA.

                  The 2D core fits in a Cyclone2 25. The 3D (I need to get accurate #s), but I think is less than 85K LE's. Both match or exceed the performance of the #9 T2R4 w/ the same feature set.

                  If it were implemented in an ASIC, it would have much higher performance, but unless people expanded on the feature set (Shaders, etc.) it's still stuck in 1998. Of course, that is partially the benefit. If we can open the source, people can modify it any way they want. It could be cost effective for someone to do a basic SOC.

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                  • #79
                    Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
                    First, they obviously already have something that can do OpenGL:
                    "been around for a number of years...contemplating open-sourcing their 2D/3D graphics engine"
                    1) The OpenGL level is c1998 technology 1.x?

                    2) 25K for 2D w/ VGA. 85K for 3D w/ 2D & VGA. (need to confirm the 3D #s)
                    Running on a low end FPGA (Cyclone or Spartan), it runs as fast as a 1998 Graphics accelerator. This can be tweaked. For an ASIC it would be potentially much faster.

                    3) It would be GPL or similar. My thoughts are that if someone makes a change to the core it should be available for all.

                    4) We would be targeting something in the 300-500K range.

                    5) Look at T2R4 performance numbers and it is better than that, but fairly close.

                    6) We have some other IP that we might put in for stretch goals. Hardware VNC is the nicest. Get a VNC connection for your BIOS screen on up.
                    We'd probably release the board design files if someone wanted to build their own FPGA board or sell them.

                    7) The #9 T2R4 driver works out of the box. It's not optimized though.

                    I hope this helps. The IP does exist. If the kickstarter were successful, the turnaround would be fairly fast. We'd need to put the licensing headers in place, but if my partner goes along with this, we'll start them ahead of time. And also documentation, making sure it's up to date.

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                    • #80
                      Originally posted by fbruno View Post
                      1) The OpenGL level is c1998 technology 1.x?
                      3) It would be GPL or similar. My thoughts are that if someone makes a change to the core it should be available for all.
                      That would prevent it being used by open source projects that have an aversion to copyleft licenses such as the BSDs.
                      It should be released under a more permissive license so these projects can more readily utilise the code.

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