Phoronix on Open Source Graphics Drivers

June 19th, 2007 by Crusader

Phoronix has posted two articles regarding open source graphics drivers. The first quotes Google’s Chris DiBona:

I would love to get either NVIDIA and ATI to actually give us the specs on the drivers we want or let’s just reverse engineer everything and do it ourselves. I would like to see you guys do that. Because I think that I am just so tired of this conversation and before what we would do is we would just do it. Then people would say oh well there’s free drivers out there, more people are using it, we’ll open source our drivers so the users will use our driver and at least get the best experience.

I’m assuming “us” in this context refers to the Linux community in general and not Google specifically.

There’s also a piece examining last week’s release of open source ATI drivers:

Last week the first open-source ATI R500 (Radeon X1000 series) driver had entered the world. This new driver (named the xf86-video-avivo) is very early into development, but a small set of developers have been working on reverse engineering this GPU class for the past couple of months. This driver does not yet contain any 3D functionality or support for features that most end-users expect. At this point, the driver just contains very basic initialization and set video mode support for a portion of the Radeon X1000 family. Even with this very basic R500 driver, we couldn’t help but to explore the Avivo driver for the past few days.

4 Responses to “Phoronix on Open Source Graphics Drivers”

  1. rafaMEX Says:

    [i] would love to get either NVIDIA and ATI to actually give us the specs on the drivers we want…
    [/i] /yawn

  2. Anonymous Says:

    …Because they are playing by the rules too much. Take for example, the R200/R300/R420 development. Many of these developers who signed NDAs are already lost interests, and ATI had essentially abandoned the product. If these developers really want to continue their causes, these developers should have learnt to bend some rules, i.e. leak the specs in some anonymous file sharing network like freenet, and strip out any user identifierble contents. After all, it worked wonders for cracking AACS…

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Many of these open source developers who had enough credibility to receive NDA docs also have professional reputations that they would be risking by breaking the terms of the NDA. Watermarks are not easy to remove if only the creator knows where they are.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I have entered one of the so-called NDA projects before, but I don’t even need to sign anything to join. Soon enough, the original developer simply stop developing altogether. If these developers are technically competent enough to enter one of these NDA agreements, removing watermarks is the least of their worries. Besides, if they only leak modified source codes, they have little risk of giving away their ids.

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