[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 21:21:27 BST 2020


--- Comment #9 from Cole Poirier <colepoirier at gmail.com> ---
(In reply to Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton from comment #6)
> 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.

That's devastatingly sad, what a loss for the libre community! Just so
incredibly upsetting.

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

I'm thankful that he was able to survive, but it's still such a tragedy.

> 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.

This in contrast to what happened to Luc is pretty darn cool. I'm very glad you
posed a great enough threat that you were left 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.

That's interesting, learning more about these market dynamics would probably
help me write better pitches. Not antagonistic, just knowing the state of the
markets we are trying to get into.

> 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.

This is why I joined the project and am trying to take a more active role in
the company as well. You, Luke are the reason I joined the project, because of
your awesome capabilities gained through very smart "laziness" in your reverse
engineering and learning, but far more importantly your commitment to the
Titanian principles. I want to help you succeed in your mission to bring
genuine ethics to technology.

> 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.

I'm focusing heavily on this in the pitch. I really liked Cesar's comments from
a few weeks ago about the difference our open stack would make to his
productivity and capabilities when it comes to scientific data acquisition. I
think this definitely applies across the board from hobbyists right up through
mega corporations. With open standards and documentation, from the top of the
software stack, down through firmware and to the level of hardware schematic
diagrams, "debugging is easier, extensibility is easier, development costs are
dramatically reduced and so on."

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