[Libre-silicon-devel] [hw-dev] NLnet 2019 grant approved for Libre RISC-V SoC development, CFP
adaptiveprocessor at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 10:47:23 CEST 2019
Toyota has fund.
2019年4月9日(火) 15:02 <lkcl at lkcl.net>:
> i'm delighted to be able to say that we've passed the review process to
> receive a grant for development of the Libre RISC-V SoC  under the 2019
> NLnet "Enhanced Privacy and Trust" Programme .
> the SoC is specifically to be designed in a fully transparent fashion at
> all times (HDL and software), so that there is absolutely no possibility of
> claims that it contains, for example, NSA spying backdoor co-processors 
> or other hidden means and methods by which user privacy is routinely
> violated by the technology that they legitimately purchase.
> in addition to that the full software and hardware stack transparency
> (including in the VPU and GPU) not only aids learning and understanding in
> educational circles, the business case for full transparency is very clear:
> it's a simple matter of drastically reducing time spent on debugging hard
> to track down errors in extremely complex bug-ridden proprietary drivers 
> examples abound of 3D or proprietary video decoders that have hard-coded
> assumptions that, due to the highly-integrated nature of SoCs, can
> eliminate a SoC entirely from consideration based not on the capabilities
> of the *hardware* but on the total lack of *software transparency*.
> basically after ten years we got fed up of waiting around for the Industry
> Incumbents to design something that allows a fully transparent software
> stack... so, insanely, we have to make one 
> we aim to bust through as many of the triple-layers of NDAs involved in
> ASIC development as we can get and still have a viable successful
> mass-volume embedded product, suitable for use in low-power products such
> as tablets, smartphones, mid-range netbooks and chromebooks, industrial
> devices and more.
> in technical terms, that means a hybrid CPU / VPU / GPU and a SMP
> quad-core 800mhz dual/quad-issue out-of-order execution engine (based
> around the 58-year-old CDC 6600 design), with 1/2/4/8-wide SIMD ALUs hidden
> transparently behind a Vector Processing front-end, and custom instructions
> created where needed to give the software 3D and VPU drivers the
> performance and power-saving boost needed to meet the modest target of 3D
> and video 720p at 25fps, in an under *2.5* watt power budget for the entire
> it is extremely ambitious for a libre-licensed project (OR1200 tops out at
> around 250mhz and is not SMP) and we have Mitch Alsup (the designer of the
> Motorola 68000) to thank for the discussions that made understanding OoO
> so that is some background.
> the reason i am writing is to invite anyone who would like to help out -
> and receive some financial incentive (cash or shares ) for doing so - to
> get in touch and participate as we sort out the list of tasks to be done
> the grant is limited to $EUR 50,000 in this first round, and the final
> amount will depend on what milestones are agreed with the NLnet Foundation,
> hence why it is important to reach out *now* and invite people to help
> clarify the tasks, and make it clear which ones they would like to tackle.
> do bear in mind that the conditions required by the NLnet Foundation are
> payment on *completion* of agreed Milestones, so if they are particularly
> large tasks, subdivision will be crucial.
> it's worth noting that the two main developers have circumstances that
> leads them to only require around USD $1000-1500 a month each, and that,
> after this first funding round is successfully completed it will be
> possible to apply for a much larger grant next year.
> so we cannot go completely financially mad: the NLnet Foundation will just
> say "no" to anything such as a $25k proposal to develop a given peripheral,
> for example, however there is definitely room for e.g.:
> * students who are doing a software or hardware engineering degree, always
> wanted to develop a processor and would like a way to supplement their
> income as an additional bonus, or
> * people already working full-time or part-time: one person is already
> donating their time at weekends to develop the TLB, Virtual Memory, and L1
> and L2 Cache infrastructure for example (and doing a really good job of it,
> and many others. so here's the conditions:
> * the project is developed under the Libre-RISCV Charter, which you will
> need to agree to: http://libre-riscv.org/charter/discussion/
> * full transparency means: no aspect of the SoC is to be developed by
> engaging in private or secret discussions. this constitutes "having
> something to hide" and would seriously undermine user trust (and would
> violate the terms of the NLnet grant).
> * in turn, that means that, as things stand, given that we are pushing the
> boundaries of innovation in RISC-V, if you have signed the RISC-V
> Membership Agreement there will be a conflict of interest that may prevent
> you from meeting the "full transparency" requirements, given that the
> RISC-V lists are *closed and secret*.
> * the code is being developed as a python "nmigen" application. you will
> need to be willing to learn nmigen as well as python. there are plenty of
> tutorials and a lot of code, now.
> * the coding standards are to meet pep8 (all of it, using autopep8, so it
> is not burdensome: just run a command), and for the code to be *readable
> and understandable*. examples are here  and here .
> * good engineering development practices such as working out and writing
> specifications and agreeing them with the team, writing unit tests *at the
> time of developing the code*, and not engaging in "I Will Commit It When
> It's Finished" will be required. python is hairy enough as it is.
> basically we are applying all the best aspects of team-based libre
> *software* development to *hardware*, and for anyone who wanted to know
> what that's like, but never encountered it before in a comprehensive
> multi-person *hardware* project before, now's your chance.
> so if that sounds of interest, do get in touch, and join the mailing list
> also, if there is anyone who knows of "Social Enterprise" or "Benefit
> Corporation" style VC funding, or, recognising the benefits that a
> libre/open design approach brings to SoCs and to users, if you would like
> to sponsor the project, we'd love to hear from you too. yes we have a
> crowdsupply page in the pre-pre-launch phase .
>  https://libre-riscv.org/3d_gpu/
>  NLnet.nl/PET/
>  or, if there are, the full source of said NSA spying backdoor
> co-processor is made available, by the NSA, under a libre license,
> including associated private crypto keys, so that anyone can learn all
> about spying on *themselves*. this is what is termed "a humorous joke".
>  https://slicingpie.com
>  http://lists.libre-riscv.org/mailman/listinfo/libre-riscv-dev
>  https://www.crowdsupply.com/libre-risc-v/m-class
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