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Subject[OT] Crazy idea: Design open-source graphics chip
This is somewhat off-topic, so we shouldn't discuss it TOO much on-list, 
but I feel it's relevant to the state of affairs with Linux.

I haven't looked at what's available on, but one of the
biggest problems we seem to have is with getting high-quality graphics
cards that are compatible with Linux in the sense that there are open
specs and there's an open-source driver. Oh, and we'd like to have
something decent.

I have personally designed a graphics engine. Actually, I would say
that I did maybe 90% of the Verilog coding on it, and about 20% of the
back-end (place, route, etc.) work. I also did 100% of the X11 software
(DDX) and 0% of the kernel driver code. I wouldn't call it a
masterpiece of engineering compared to the latest and greatest high-end
3D and CAD graphics chips, but it's a powerful workhorse used in most of
the air traffic control graphics cards and medical imaging cards that my
employer sells (10 megapixel displays are easy for us). Were you to
read the manual on it, you'd think some of it was a bit unusual (such as
the way you issue rendering commands), because it WAS my first ASIC
ever. I did meet all of our performance goals. And I've come a long
way since then. (Unfortunately, this may sound like a plug, but I have
competing desires to be humble about what I did but also not to
publically say something that might understate the value of my
employer's products. I also feel a sense of pride in my accomplishment.)

That being said, I would LOVE to be involved in the design of an
open-source graphics chip with the Linux market primarily in mind. This
is a major sore point for us, and I, for one, would love to be involved
in solving it. With an open architecture, everyone wins. We win
because we have something stable which we can put in main-line Linux,
and chip fabs win, because anyone can sell it, and anyone can write
drivers for any platform.

Imagine ATI and nVidia competing on how they can IMPROVE the design over
one another but being obligated to release the source code. I know...
wishful thinking. But I know a variety of ways that chips and boards
could be made with respectable geometries (90nm) and high performance.
No more being at the mercy of closed-development graphics chip designers
who make Linux an after-though if they even think of us at all.

Please forgive my off-topic intrusion.

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