[Arm-netbook] mali gpu reverse engineering lkcl may ignore

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Sun Jun 18 20:14:09 BST 2017

On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 5:56 PM, zap <calmstorm at posteo.de> wrote:

> Hmm...  just out of curiosity, what is your plan then? to make your own
> processors from lowrisc?

 replying in part to bill here as well: yes.  and to use MIAOW for
OpenCL and ORSOC GPU for actual rendering.  it won't be perfect but it
will be a start.

 bill: nvidia are in the difficult position of likely having been
pressurised by governments to lock down what is effectively viewed in
military terms as a a weapon (the rest of us just call it a "GPU").
if you recall many years ago, iraq i believe it was purchased
thousands of sony PS1s to make a supercomputer.

 as there is an ongoing arms race in that regard it is only the latest
processors which are likely to fall under, for example, U.S. BXPA
Weapons-Grade "Munitions" classification.  given the fact that it is
after a couple of years that the source code is no longer
DRM-restricted, we have a correlation that fits with the ongoing

 now, as long as a replacement (libre) processor is well below the
"state of the art" but is otherwise perfectly acceptable for
mass-volume electronics purposes, it will fall outside of this
potential trap.

> its not a bad idea, but I think until that is an option... we should use
> still use some form of arm.

 indeed.  it may sound strange but when there is no other option (and
by that i mean *exhaustive* analysis finds no other option) i do not
mind "crossing the line" into what would traditionally be viewed by
software libre purists as "unacceptable territory" *IF* in doing so it
is part of a long-term strategy to *REPLACE* the very thing being
leveraged [to make money etc. etc.]

 for example: many software libre supporters flatly refuse to even
*install* Windows NT... but if i had taken that attitude i would not
have broken the NT Domains protocol, over 20 years ago.

 it is the same here:

> Unless you know of other options.

 nope, i don't.  always looking though.

> Just curious but what other options are there? Also, I think that makes
> it more reasonable to reverse engineer their products just to piss Arm
> off. They don't like their products being reverse engineered anyways...
> so why not do that to annoy them for their unethical acts? Besides it
> could make them realize that their evil actions need to be changed.

 and remove the one thing which would otherwise teach them a lesson?

 i see both perspectives: i just believe that they are sufficiently
arrogant in their power and beliefs that it is unlikely that they will
change their minds.  they've been told by their engineers countless
times.  they've been told by users countless times.  they've been told
by businesses who would otherwise buy more of their products countless

> Its not my favorite idea, but its better than letting mali run
> unchecked. In my opinion.

 yehyeh, i hear ya.

> You are of course free to disagree but that's my stance.

 no it's good to hear.  thx zap.


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