Forget the performance numbers, the whole thing is bullshit:
* The proposal is dated December 2, 2012 for an advanced kitchen sink SoC with silicon in July 2013? Really?
* Their never released to market CPU design that beats an ARM on one video decoding benchmark is ready to go, except they need to move it to a new process, double the number of cores, and speed it up by 30%. Trivial, I'm sure.
* This bit here:
What's the next step?
Find investors! We need to move quickly: there's an opportunity to hit
Christmas sales if the processor is ready by July 2013. This should be
possible to achieve if the engineers start NOW (because the design's
already done and proven: it's a matter of bolting on the modern interfaces,
compiling for FPGA to make sure it works, then running verification etc.
No actual "design" work is needed).
The design is done! They just have to, you know, grab their perfectly-working peripheral IPs from unstated sources, "bolt them on" to their heavily-modified CPU, and then compile for FPGA. And maybe some timing simulations for their new 40nm process, but I'm sure that won't turn up any problems. And "verification, etc." (aka the part where you actually make it work). And fixing any problems found in silicon. But no *actual* design work is needed.
I have spent the last three months in my day job on a team of a dozen people writing design verification test cases for a new SoC. Fuck you for talking like that's nothing.
* They're going to hit "Christmas sales"? So despite being a real honest for-profit multi-million-selling product, we swear, they're still targeting a consumer shopping season. Hint: you want your chip to go into other products. Products sold at Christmas time are designed long before Christmas. Probably more than six months before, i.e. July 2013. Oops.
* No mention of post-silicon testing, reliability studies, or even whether they've got a test facility lined up, or what kind of resources they need for long-term support. I said it when OpenCores pulled this crap, and I'll say it again. Hardware is not software. You have to think about this stuff. Yield and reliability are what determine whether other companies buy your stuff and whether you make money from it.
Let me offer some advice to anyone who wants to change the semiconductor world overnight with the magic of open source: start small. Really small. Even Linus Torvalds didn't start out planning to conquer the world. Maybe you could start by trying to get open source IP blocks into commercial products. Once there's a bench of solid, field-tested designs, *then* we can talk about funding an attempt to put it all together. But coming out of nowhere and asking for $10 million is not the way to start. Just ask OpenCores -- their big donation drive got them a grand total of $20 thousand.