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  • NVIDIA Comments On Its Linux Driver Architectue

    Phoronix: NVIDA Comments On Its Linux Driver Architectue

    Over the week I mentioned that NVIDIA may be working on a new driver architecture for its unified, proprietary GPU driver on Windows/Linux/Solaris/BSD platforms. This information was learned when one of NVIDIA's Linux engineers was engaging in a technical debate over their fence synchronization patches for the X.Org Server. Andy Ritger who heads the NVIDIA Unix Graphics Driver team, has provided us some brief comments with regards to their ongoing architectural work...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODg4Ng

  • #2
    this sounds like a good opportunity for the linux community.

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    • #3
      Nice he confirmed my theory that problem with drivers is size of NVIDIA (and AMD) Linux team(s). After all, there must be someone to take care of poor Win98/ME users and how it works for them! And to make sure one of them has DX12 3 days earlier then the other one, thats something! Actually, NVIDIA Linux team and AMD Linux team should merge, then both guys together might actually create something open and useful, in the basement of one of those gigantic companies with thousands of employees. </flame>

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mirza View Post
        Actually, NVIDIA Linux team and AMD Linux team should merge, then both guys together might actually create something open and useful
        Let us reintroduce communism and central planing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mirza View Post
          Nice he confirmed my theory that problem with drivers is size of NVIDIA (and AMD) Linux team(s).
          They don't need huge teams. The drivers are the same between Windows and Linux, it's just a small bit of OS-specific code to handle. The "Windows team" for the driver development includes all the OS-specific stuff plus the core driver. Plus the DirectX support that Linux lacks.

          After all, there must be someone to take care of poor Win98/ME users and how it works for them!
          Those OSes are unsupported by any modern GPU.

          And to make sure one of them has DX12 3 days earlier then the other one, thats something!
          It is, actually. Look how much people are clamoring for OpenGL 4 on Linux. The new APIs are better, more powerful, and developers actually want to use them. I am very much waiting for OpenGL 3 on the Linux FOSS drivers, in fact.

          Actually, NVIDIA Linux team and AMD Linux team should merge, then both guys together might actually create something open and useful
          This makes no sense. They work on totally separate drivers for totally different hardware. The proprietary drivers are closed for business reasons and not a lack of manpower reason.

          So far as the open drivers, NVIDIA doesn't even have a team doing those. Nouveau is all hobbyist/volunteer work, unlike the AMD driver.

          Yes, AMD could put more people on the FOSS driver, but there's a business decision to be made there. They aren't making any significant extra income by having a FOSS driver. Hence, there's no reason to put more money into it. And I don't blame them for that; if there were a large enough number of desktop Linux users who actually demanded FOSS drivers, the market pressure would change. As is, there are a small number of desktop Linux users and most of them are either happy with weak drivers (or just weak hardware *cough* Intel *cough*) or are happy with proprietary drivers.

          in the basement of one of those gigantic companies with thousands of employees. </flame>
          As opposed to the FOSS community which has hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of developers... and yet there still is a tiny handful of graphics stack developers. Number of employees is irrelevant; number of skilled, experienced, motivated developers is what matters. I'm willing to bet NVIDIA has AMD trounced in this area, comparing the relative quality of their proprietary drivers (on any OS).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NSLW View Post
            Let us reintroduce communism and central planing.
            Oh, a bit of trolling, ey?
            Or are you just saying that a joint project between those companies are just as likely as the reintroduction of those two political elements into the western somewhat broken liberal capitalism?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by elanthis View Post
              Yes, AMD could put more people on the FOSS driver, but there's a business decision to be made there. They aren't making any significant extra income by having a FOSS driver. Hence, there's no reason to put more money into it.
              This is a statement I never really have been able to wrap my head around:

              ATI/AMD sells graphic cards. They have a binary driver and a FOSS driver. So how much do they "earn" on the binary driver?

              The only thing they really "earn" on their drivers in reality are the PR that working drivers give, i.e. "with their cards my system actually boots/suspends/plays my HD pr0n and that without any fuss, so my next card will be one from them".
              And as far as I have heard (have actually never used AMD/ATIs binary drivers on linux that much) their FOSS versions do most of these things better then the binary (except accelerate and handle newer Open* APIS. Both drivers sucks at video).

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              • #8
                They're looking to hire... time to send in the spys, to capture all their IP and release it for free on the internet

                ** then you poor nvidia users can finally have a decent driver.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                  They're looking to hire... time to send in the spys, to capture all their IP and release it for free on the internet
                  And you will be called a traitor by some distant country and extradited for execution.

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                  • #10
                    kk
                    Originally posted by Xake View Post
                    This is a statement I never really have been able to wrap my head around:

                    ATI/AMD sells graphic cards. They have a binary driver and a FOSS driver. So how much do they "earn" on the binary driver?

                    The only thing they really "earn" on their drivers in reality are the PR that working drivers give, i.e. "with their cards my system actually boots/suspends/plays my HD pr0n and that without any fuss, so my next card will be one from them".
                    And as far as I have heard (have actually never used AMD/ATIs binary drivers on linux that much) their FOSS versions do most of these things better then the binary (except accelerate and handle newer Open* APIS. Both drivers sucks at video).
                    The binary determines the speed of the graphics card. The optimizations is something that gives vendors a competative edge. Neither nVidia nor AMD would like to see it open on the streets.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
                      kk
                      The binary determines the speed of the graphics card. The optimizations is something that gives vendors a competative edge. Neither nVidia nor AMD would like to see it open on the streets.
                      Yeah, but that "edge" is totally moot if that means you have to jump thru loops just to get the binary driver to work...
                      ...or wait months to be able to use the latest version of a distribution because the binary provider fails to deliver a driver for the updated APIs/ABIs...
                      ...or not being able to suspend your laptop without it crashing...

                      Yeah, it is a edge on a system while you are playing or doing a specific task, but if the driver does not handle "daily usage", that edge is still moot.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Xake View Post
                        Oh, a bit of trolling, ey?
                        Or are you just saying that a joint project between those companies are just as likely as the reintroduction of those two political elements into the western somewhat broken liberal capitalism?
                        Merging companies just to cut costs and time and leaving no choice but one's company products is communistic/socialistic/fascistic move which kills competitiveness.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NSLW View Post
                          Merging companies just to cut costs and time and leaving no choice but one's company products is communistic/socialistic/fascistic move which kills competitiveness.
                          Oh, my. You really do not know your politics, ey?
                          So when AMD merged with ATI to cut costs and time, they where pro-violent-regime (i.e. fascistic)?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NSLW View Post
                            Merging companies just to cut costs and time and leaving no choice but one's company products is communistic/socialistic/fascistic move which kills competitiveness.
                            And puppies. Don't forget about puppies.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Xake View Post
                              Yeah, but that "edge" is totally moot if that means you have to jump thru loops just to get the binary driver to work...
                              ...or wait months to be able to use the latest version of a distribution because the binary provider fails to deliver a driver for the updated APIs/ABIs...
                              ...or not being able to suspend your laptop without it crashing...

                              Yeah, it is a edge on a system while you are playing or doing a specific task, but if the driver does not handle "daily usage", that edge is still moot.
                              It's not moot, since the main target is Windows. Suspend and daily usage works excellent there.

                              Oh, you meant on Linux. Yeah, but who uses that. It's not even friendly to binary drivers. <grin>

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