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Would A Kickstarter Open-Source GPU Work?

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  • phoronix
    started a topic Would A Kickstarter Open-Source GPU Work?

    Would A Kickstarter Open-Source GPU Work?

    Phoronix: Would A Kickstarter Open-Source GPU Work?

    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...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQxMjU

  • lkcl
    replied
    Originally posted by fbruno View Post
    An Update
    Our licensing is going to be attribution and bug fix only. New derivatives simply need to give us credit and our backers by providing a reference to our website and where an end user can obtain the source. It would be great to see someone pair this with an OpenRisc or OpenSparc.
    fbruno, hi,

    it's fantastic to see this effort, and i wish you every success. i must warn you however that if you intend to use an attribution-based license, these are completely incompatible with the GPL and the LGPL, due to the attribution being "advertising". forcing people to "advertise" is an "obligation" which falls foul of the clauses which force people wishing to combine the two codebases to cease and desist from using the GPL/LGPL'd code because they cannot fulfil the requirements of the GPL/LGPL... thus completely defeating the object of combining the two codebases.

    bottom line: if you insist on releasing under and attribution-based license, you will *not* see anyone using this GPU with OpenRisc or OpenSparc. both are released under the LGPL.

    please consider taking some advice from people who know about software libre licenses before proceeding further with this decision. at the very least i strongly recommend to you to release the code under the LGPLv2+ because it creates a stand-alone product that requires modifications to be made publicly available under the same license. LGPLv2+ code can be used with absolutely anything.

    also, from experience, i strongly recommend that you obtain a Copyright Registration Certificate for the product in the United States. this can be obtained from any Town Hall in any city in the USA. even if you are not based in the USA i strongly recommend that you consider obtaining a Copyright Registration Certificate.

    l.

    Leave a comment:


  • Setlec
    replied
    well then i guess that you just won a future backer. ;D

    Leave a comment:


  • fbruno
    replied
    Originally posted by Setlec View Post
    Honestly now that linux is getting more support for gaming i would like to see support for Haiku OS, since its a unique OS made for multimedia it would be kinda nice! the open source driver must be platform independent for its core functions kinda like how Nvidia did for its close sourced driver to have a better cross-platform features support.
    This project goes beyond drivers, unlike many other "open hardware" projects. The GPU can be poked, modified, improved upon. The source code that builds the logic that becomes the GPU is all in standard Verilog. There is nothing obfuscated or hidden, variables have meanings, comments are there in many places and part of the cleanup prior to release will be to add more.

    The community will be free to develop drivers for any OS.

    Leave a comment:


  • Setlec
    replied
    Honestly now that linux is getting more support for gaming i would like to see support for Haiku OS, since its a unique OS made for multimedia it would be kinda nice! the open source driver must be platform independent for its core functions kinda like how Nvidia did for its close sourced driver to have a better cross-platform features support.

    Leave a comment:


  • tarceri
    replied
    Originally posted by fbruno View Post
    An Update

    Hi All,
    I just wanted to post an update. We should be going live with the kickstarter this week/ next week. We tried to structure it so that we can attain enough to finish the IP (It's about 95% there as I'll show in the video). We've been actively debugging over the last 2 months and need to fix trilinear filtering to get a better video for showing the capabilities. We also need to work on some of the more esoteric tests to verify functionality that isn't currently used.

    Our hope is to achieve the higher tiers where we can actually bring the capabilities up to a modern shader architecture. Our current capabilities are more than enough to run an OS such as Linux and have game capabilities about that of a gamecube.

    I'll start a new thread in the next couple of days with our Facebook page and an announcement of when we will go live. If anyone has any media contacts or thoughts on spreading the word, I'd love to hear them.

    Our licensing is going to be attribution and bug fix only. New derivatives simply need to give us credit and our backers by providing a reference to our website and where an end user can obtain the source. It would be great to see someone pair this with an OpenRisc or OpenSparc. It might be a follow on kickstarter...

    Thanks for your patience,
    Frank
    First off its great to hear you are going ahead with this. Secondly I don't have any media contacts but I did recently run a small (but successful) campaign to do some development work on Mesa. Some places I would recommend sharing news of you campaign are:

    - Phoronix (obviously)
    - Reddit Linux - http://www.reddit.com/r/linux
    - http://www.geeks3d.com/
    - Once you have something posted on a website the linux news websites like www.linuxtoday.com and www.lxer.com are good for driving traffic
    - http://www.gamingonlinux.com/ a popular linux gaming site but they let you submit guest posts so you may like to write something here.

    Leave a comment:


  • fbruno
    replied
    An Update

    Hi All,
    I just wanted to post an update. We should be going live with the kickstarter this week/ next week. We tried to structure it so that we can attain enough to finish the IP (It's about 95% there as I'll show in the video). We've been actively debugging over the last 2 months and need to fix trilinear filtering to get a better video for showing the capabilities. We also need to work on some of the more esoteric tests to verify functionality that isn't currently used.

    Our hope is to achieve the higher tiers where we can actually bring the capabilities up to a modern shader architecture. Our current capabilities are more than enough to run an OS such as Linux and have game capabilities about that of a gamecube.

    I'll start a new thread in the next couple of days with our Facebook page and an announcement of when we will go live. If anyone has any media contacts or thoughts on spreading the word, I'd love to hear them.

    Our licensing is going to be attribution and bug fix only. New derivatives simply need to give us credit and our backers by providing a reference to our website and where an end user can obtain the source. It would be great to see someone pair this with an OpenRisc or OpenSparc. It might be a follow on kickstarter...

    Thanks for your patience,
    Frank

    Leave a comment:


  • intellivision
    replied
    Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
    Key fact:
    Hardware license != Driver license

    When you release hardware under an open source license, it is code that represents the schematics of the hardware.
    There is a well-defined and standardized interface between the hardware and the software, and you cannot combine the two into a single binary (the only case where GPL would interact with driver license) with any tool I know of. Even creating a "mere aggregation" that would not cause a license conflict represents a closer connection between components than exists between the driver and the hardware.
    If hardware license had any bearing on the driver licenses, it would be a license violation to distribute Linux built for any architectures other than OpenRISC, SPARC, and mips32.
    Sun released the T1 and T2 SPARC64 cores under the GPL, and OpenSolaris runs on there.

    It's fairly common to have an MIT-licensed driver for ~GPL hardware, and in this case, the existing Linux driver looks to be MIT: http://www.x.org/wiki/i128/
    I understand the difference between hardware and software licenses and I have no problem with the GPL being extended to hardware development (although I am a little confused as to how it would exactly apply in a non-software environment) but I would rather have a written document stating that the developers would release all software driver components under a permissive license e.g. MIT, X11 etc. before I contributed money to such a venture, for precisely the fact that those open source OS's that will not or cannot legally contain GPL code will not be left unable to run on that platform.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ibidem
    replied
    Originally posted by intellivision View Post
    I would actually only support this project if the drivers were released under a permissive MIT or similar license.
    It wouldn't be fair to use a copyleft license for open source hardware, especially if such a use would actively exclude its use upstream in several operating systems such as the BSDs, Haiku, OpenSolaris and AROS (the last two use GPL incompatible licenses so a GPL driver could not legally be distributed with those OS's.)
    Key fact:
    Hardware license != Driver license

    When you release hardware under an open source license, it is code that represents the schematics of the hardware.
    There is a well-defined and standardized interface between the hardware and the software, and you cannot combine the two into a single binary (the only case where GPL would interact with driver license) with any tool I know of. Even creating a "mere aggregation" that would not cause a license conflict represents a closer connection between components than exists between the driver and the hardware.
    If hardware license had any bearing on the driver licenses, it would be a license violation to distribute Linux built for any architectures other than OpenRISC, SPARC, and mips32.
    Sun released the T1 and T2 SPARC64 cores under the GPL, and OpenSolaris runs on there.

    It's fairly common to have an MIT-licensed driver for ~GPL hardware, and in this case, the existing Linux driver looks to be MIT: http://www.x.org/wiki/i128/

    Leave a comment:


  • intellivision
    replied
    Originally posted by glococo View Post
    I agree with fbruno, should be GPL, (avoid lgpl and weak licences), so each manufacturer/developer should release the improvements to the community.
    If we support an opensource Gpu, they should also do the same.
    I would actually only support this project if the drivers were released under a permissive MIT or similar license.
    It wouldn't be fair to use a copyleft license for open source hardware, especially if such a use would actively exclude its use upstream in several operating systems such as the BSDs, Haiku, OpenSolaris and AROS (the last two use GPL incompatible licenses so a GPL driver could not legally be distributed with those OS's.)

    Leave a comment:

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