I’m Yehowshua Immanuel, founder of Systèmes Libres, the company backing the Libre-SOC.
What originally was an unrealized dream in the FOSS community is now making its way into reality. Libre-SOC is to be a fully open source SOC - open down to VLSI design cells under GPLV3. It will have a:
- Open source drivers for Vulkan(and eventually OpenCL + OpenGL)
Our gracious sponsors include NLNet, RaptorCS, and (previously)Purism. In addition, Robert Rhinehart(co-founder of Soylent) has expressed interest in seed funding us.
While I’m not allowed to say much on our potential customers just yet, I will say that RaptorCS is taking a serious look at our future line up of fully POWER compliant 4-core chips.
While I am the face of Systèmes Libres, this would have not have been possible without some very important people. Chief among which are:
Luke Leighton and Jacob Lifshay
Luke had the initial dream for LibreSOC, and works diligently with Jacob Lifshay, churning out code every day.
Previously chief architect at AMD, Mitch has spent many a night providing feedback on how to achieve OOO execution while retaining our sanity.
We also have about 10 other developers who contribute on and off.
When Can I buy it?
We have a shuttle smoketest tapeout scheduled for this October. This would be a 180nm single core, OOO, pipelined chip.
After that, we’d move to the four core chip, planned for 2021.
We’d hopefully move to our market ready chip by 2022. This would include all the necessary interfaces such as DDR and SERDES.
What’s the Gameplan?
Well obviously, we’ll be selling our branded chips.
We’re also licensing the codebase under a libre licenses such as GPLV3. There may be customers who would like to make modifications they wish to keep proprietary. That’s OK! We’ll sell additional exemption licenses.
Lastly, we’ll be selling support.
What’s the Status?
Right now, we have a mostly working decoder, FPU, and OOO functionality. We use a variant of the scoreboard. More detail here.
We also have some WIP code for the future GPU driver, Kazan.
Why the name Systèmes Libres?
Well, I speak French - so thats part of it.
But liberty and collaboration is in both our DNA and culture.
At Systèmes Libres, we don’t just believe in FOSS, we also believe in openness and transparency. We have a public mailing list, public goals, and we don’t do NDAs… ever.
We believe strongly in inclusion. This even shows in the choice to use the lightweight gitweb and bugzilla, making page loads accessible to internet challenged developers.
There have been recent discussions with universities in developing nations on allowing grad students to contribute to LibreSOC under local government funding - so yeah - inclusion is very important.
Want to Learn More?
Check out Libre-SOC here.