[libre-riscv-dev] [Libre-silicon-devel] NLNet Funding Proposals for the Libre RISC-V SoC: call for participation

David Lanzendörfer leviathan at libresilicon.com
Mon Sep 23 09:48:30 BST 2019

Hi Luke
In order to be truly libre, you've got to remove AXI from the RISC-V 
implementation and replace it with TileLink or another bus, which isn't
patented by a company.
Also I would strongly discourage you from using ARM patented solutions,
this might most certainly come back in the future to hunt you.


On Monday, 23 September 2019 2:56:31 PM HKT Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton 
> [please do remove all but libre-riscv-dev when replying, thx]
> https://libre-riscv.org/nlnet_proposals/
> 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.

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