[libre-riscv-dev] [Bug 365] ROCM/Libre-SOC GPU Opcode interoperability

bugzilla-daemon at libre-soc.org bugzilla-daemon at libre-soc.org
Sun Jun 7 05:30:04 BST 2020


--- Comment #6 from Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> ---
(In reply to Cole Poirier from comment #5)

> In light of this, I think what would be vastly more valuable would be to
> solicit Luc Verhaegen’s input on this bug specifically. I believe I remember
> him commenting on list a few times, however I can’t recall with enough
> clarity to comment.

sadly, luc (who is named explicitly in ARM NDAs that under no circumstances is
he to be contacted for any reason by the signatories) has been under such
constant attack for over a decade, for his work, that he has given up working
on graphics drivers entirely.

a friend of his found him some work to do and he now has enough money to pay
for his family.

some microsoft employees at one point gave serious consideration to engaging in
a similar style of concerted attack against me, because of the reverse
engineering that i did back in 1996-2000.  they even called my employer, ISS,
to arrange to have me fired or silenced.

several senior employees inside microsoft, people who had been with the company
since its beginning, had to explain to them in very blunt and clear terms that
if they pissed me off, the knowledge and expertise that i had on the security
vulnerabilities within the NT Operating System (of which those senior employees
were keenly aware) could, if i focussed on revealing those vuulnerabilities day
after day, week after week, could literally have brought their billion dollar
company to its knees.

they left me alone.

luc verhaegen was not in a similar position because MALI and GPUs in general
are not exactly critical components (unlike spectre, meltdown etc), and there
is not a monopoly situation like there was with microsoft.

now you know a little bit more about the background, why i started this
project, and also why full transparency is so very important.  it's because
with full transparency there *is* no opportunity to exploit, blackmail or
undermine software libre developers, and there *is* no need for people to
frivolously have their time and expertise wasted on reverse engineering.

it just so happens that this results in things being far easier for customers
(like the fact that RTOSes such as the Amazon IOT one) get *direct* access to
GPU capabilities, debugging is easier, extensibility is easier, development
costs are dramatically reduced and so on.

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