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Re: NLNet Funding Proposals for the Libre RISC-V SoC: call for participa

From: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
Subject: Re: NLNet Funding Proposals for the Libre RISC-V SoC: call for participation
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:45:33 +0000

just a quick followup: we got the funding.

therefore: if there is anyone who can program in c/c++ or python who
would like to be the recipient of donations for working on libre
source code that will actually end up creating real silicon, with
skills in assembler, HDL, compilers, formal mathematical proofs,
kernel driver development or simply an attitude to learn whatever it
takes to get the job done: do get in touch.

time for us to say "we don't need permission to own our own hardware".


On Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at 7:56 AM Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
<> wrote:
> [please do remove all but libre-riscv-dev when replying, thx]
> A series of funding proposals, each for EUR 50,000, have been submitted to 
> NLNet.  These are for charitable donations and may be given to either 
> individuals or to Universities (not to Corporations) for completion of an 
> allotted milestone.
> The basic idea is to think through and plan for commercial completion all of 
> the tasks that will make the Libre RISC-V SoC a success. It's a lot! We have 
> the following:
> a second Vulkan 3D driver, which will be a port of AMDVLK. similar to 
> swiftshader, for the Libre RISCV SoC, except taking into account the 
> Vectorisation, predication and custom accelerated opcodes.
> a video acceleration initiative: with NEON assembler being up to the job of 
> decoding 720p video on recent ARM64 processors, the idea is to design 
> instructions that will do the job and then follow through getting the code 
> upstream.
> two related proposals which, in combination, will result in an actual 180nm 
> ASIC being taped out at TSMC.
> a formal mathematical proof of the hardware design, proving inviolate 
> guarantees of its correctness. this because although auditing the code is 
> possible, it is both laborious, error prone, and could be compromised. 
> mathematical proofs may be run by anyone and are inviolate.
> an augmentation of gcc to support the processor’s parallel and vectorisation 
> capabilities.
> Yes, really: 180nm ASICs only cost around EUR 600 per square millimetre, and 
> with around 20 or so mm^2 it is completely within the realm of possibility 
> for an NLNet Grant to fund a test ASIC. With each square millimetre being 
> around 40,000 gates in 180nm, that's around 800,000 gates, which is enormous.
> We would then have a proven ASIC, and moving up to 40nm or below, which would 
> require around the USD 2m mark, is a far less risky proposition.
> The irony is that whilst these funding proposals are quite easy to write, we 
> also need to find people willing to do the work! In particular, we need at 
> least one EU Citizen per project. They do not have to be permanently resident 
> in the EU, they do however need an EU residence. Yes this includes the UK at 
> the time of writing.
> This is an extremely important strategic project that puts you - software 
> libre developers - in the driving seat of modern technology instead of 
> picking up the reverse engineering crumbs that fall from the Corporate table 
> with at least a 2 year delay.
> If you would like to help and actually receive donations (directly 
> transferred) from NLNet for doing so, please do contact me directly or on 
> libre-riscv-dev.
> L.
> --
> ---
> crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware:

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