[Libre-silicon-devel] Some questions regarding the NVDLA and "NVIDIA Open NVDLA License and Agreement v1.0"

David Kochanov david.kochanov at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 19:52:48 CEST 2018

there is now also an actual open-source NN inference engine

On Mon, 16 Jul 2018 at 19:44, David Lanzendörfer <david.lanzendoerfer at o2s.ch>

> Hi manili
> > I’m not very much familiar with different types of licenses and their
> legal
> > issues. So would some one do me a favor and answer my questions?
> Ok. I'll try my best :-)
> > 1. Is NVDLA a libre and royalty-free IP core?
> It's not Libre for a simple reason:
> I'm not able to modify and share the core with others.
> Only the software around the core is covered by this license.
> It's like with the GPL, which doesn't cover the actual IP core they
> license
> their Verilog under at all (OpenCores.org issue)
> At no point I actually receive a full transistor layout of the IP core,
> only
> LEF files with the pin-out (at best!)
> It's more than a bit cheasy and quiet a bit of a diversion strategy to
> publish
> a free license when your core business is actually chip designs which are
> not
> covered at all under a copyright based licensing scheme... >_>
> nVidia just got evil++, some level-ups really aren't that good.
> > 2. Is it possible to modify it and relicense the modifications?
> Software sure, but good luck getting the GDS2 files with the actual IP
> core in
> the first place in order to modify it.
> Or even more unlikely, the Cadence (def) files with the actual wiring
> information.
> > 3. You know AFAIK the GPU architecture is somewhat similar to AI
> > accelerator. So I’m thinking NVDLA is a good starting point but I don’t
> > know about potential legal issues. So what do you think guys?
> Well.
> Even if they license the code around their core under a free-ish license I
> bet
> 6 king cans of Tsing Tao or Paulaner, that the actual VLSI layout
> information
> of the actual core is only available after signing 23ish interlinked NDAs
> which contain your eternal soul now belonging to nVidia as well as your
> first
> born and all your other belongings.
> Cheers
>         -lev_______________________________________________
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