[libre-riscv-dev] Epic MegaGrants - Libre RISC-V 3D GPU / CPU / VPU Update Requested

lkcl . luke.leighton at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 18:55:26 GMT 2020

(hi folks, thanks for getting in touch, hope you don't mind me cc'ing
this onto our mailing list, we operate on the basis of full
transparency and i thought it best to reply in this case to our list).

On Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 4:57 PM Epic <@epicgames.com> wrote:
> Hi Luke,
> Thank you for applying to the Epic MegaGrants program. Due to the extensive volume of applications, it has taken us much longer than we anticipated to review your application.

not a problem.

> In an effort to expedite the process, we're reaching out to inquire about any project updates that we should consider before proceeding with the final stages of review.

well, we have (summary) updates here, i'm due to write another one:

the main crucial piece of news is: we put in eight NLNet Grant
applications (and they were all accepted).  however we cancelled two
of them because during the exploratory phase we learned that:

* gcc compiler development is insanely expensive and people are hard
to find outside of the "industry".  one company (one of the best)
quoted us USD 50,000 for a preliminary 3 month prototype, and their
commercial rates are a quarter of a MILLION a year.

* OpenCL, which would have been nice, we just had too much else to do
with such a small team.  we'd really like to put that back on track.

also significant: one of the NLNet Grants is for a 180nm test ASIC,
we've a tape-out deadline of October 2020.  NLNet's sponsorship allows
us to cover this cost.

however if we want to get to 45nm or below, that's where it gets
expensive: USD 250,000 for 45nm masks, and that amount *doubles* every
step in geometry, to the point where if we wanted to do 7nm it would
be a whopping $10m for the mask charges.

> If this is the case, please respond to this email with new information that is representative of your latest progress (builds, videos, images, etc), with the proper permission settings enabled for us to access the content.

everything's entirely public already.  we've done a big update / reorg
on the wiki (https://libre-riscv.org/) and the side-bar shows the main
links to repos, bugtracker, etc.

> If we should proceed with your application as it was originally submitted, you may also let us know by replying to this email.

yes please.

> if we do not hear from you within the next 14 days, we will consider this application closed.
> Thank you for your continued patience and support!

not a problem, thank you for reaching out.  please do remember, it's
worth reiterating: if you *donate* to us via the NLNet Charitable
Foundation (who will then help us manage finances), it's entirely a
tax-deductible contribution for EpicGames.  also, if you would like to
set some conditions for the use of the funds (must be used to achieve
certain objectives), they're by far and above the best route to
"manage" that in a safe way.

if however that doesn't suit you (for whatever reason) we are in the
process of setting up a Public Benefit Corporation, based out of
Altanta, through the Georgia Tech "CREATE-X" Entrepreneurial

whatever you decide, we're grateful for you considering this at all.



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