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Reverse Engineering PowerVR Is Now A High Priority

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  • Reverse Engineering PowerVR Is Now A High Priority

    Phoronix: Reverse Engineering PowerVR Is Now A High Priority

    The Free Software Foundation has now determined that reverse-engineering the PowerVR Linux drivers in order to create a free software driver capable of 3D hardware acceleration is a high priority action item. With an increasing number of mobile devices running Linux bearing these PowerVR graphics chipsets, which currently require the use of binary blobs for graphics acceleration, is not acceptable and that action must be taken to create an open driver for this hardware...

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

  • #2
    Ah poop! Nothing for my KyroII boo

    Anyway nice initiative!

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    • #3
      on the goals of their wiki page it says: "To port the OpenGL 3 MesaGL library to G3D-SGX"


      this means that the FSF will fund an opengl 3 state tracker????

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      • #4
        good abm

        thats the german word for such stuff "arbeits-beschaffungsmassnahme" translated: "work-generation-action" so that unemployed people can get a income because you should work and if its the most idiotic and unuseful work in the universe.

        Is linux still that weak that the big companys can ignore it? Or is it because Linus sucks why can somebody sell a device with lets say android-linux and have binary drivers pre-installed thats forbidden even in gpl v2 so how is that even possible?

        I am harder on this, so ok maybe I buy me someday a crappy blob-handy because there is no alternative, but there where is a alternative I go other ways, so I will not buy any smartbook with no open drivers and stuff like that. And also no nvidia-card.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by phoronix
          Reverse Engineering PowerVR Is Now A High Priority
          That's nice. But what exactly does that mean besides being mentioned on some webpage hidden in some corner of the Internet? Reading that webpage it seems to mean exactly that and nothing more.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
            thats the german word for such stuff "arbeits-beschaffungsmassnahme" translated: "work-generation-action" so that unemployed people can get a income because you should work and if its the most idiotic and unuseful work in the universe.

            Is linux still that weak that the big companys can ignore it? Or is it because Linus sucks why can somebody sell a device with lets say android-linux and have binary drivers pre-installed thats forbidden even in gpl v2 so how is that even possible?

            I am harder on this, so ok maybe I buy me someday a crappy blob-handy because there is no alternative, but there where is a alternative I go other ways, so I will not buy any smartbook with no open drivers and stuff like that. And also no nvidia-card.
            Refusing to buy nvidia cards probably hurts open source development more than it helps. If you had one, you could at least help out the nouveau developers by testing the nouveau driver.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by monraaf View Post
              That's nice. But what exactly does that mean besides being mentioned on some webpage hidden in some corner of the Internet? Reading that webpage it seems to mean exactly that and nothing more.
              Looking at the list of other projects that have been labelled "high-priority", I think it means that it will never be done.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
                Refusing to buy nvidia cards probably hurts open source development more than it helps. If you had one, you could at least help out the nouveau developers by testing the nouveau driver.
                rofl, as a customer you can only a bit influint decitions that companys do, so amd pays people to make free drivers I want not reward Nvidia for doing the oposite. And doing the work for them, so that any company learns, that it has no disadvantage when it behaves like asholes then all do this.

                So its not logical to buy nvidia cards btw I am not into (graphics)-driver development.

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                • #9
                  I think it's going to be very hard. It's embedded stuff, who knows how many myriads of customized variants of those cores are found in consumer products.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by peppepz View Post
                    I think it's going to be very hard. It's embedded stuff, who knows how many myriads of customized variants of those cores are found in consumer products.
                    That's no different than any other piece of hardware, really. For a desktop GPU, for instance, the core chip is mostly standard (except that NVIDIA/AMD put out dozens of variations of the same chip family), but there are a ton of other chips and controllers on those big beastly video cards, all of which can vary quite a bit from the original manufacturing sample.

                    The vast brunt of the work is going to be usable across all the PowerVR SGX variants. There will be a ton of device-specific tweaks, but then that's the same for Intel HD audio chipsets or SATA controllers or even USB HID devices. Nobody follows the damn specs precisely, so you always need drivers with a ton of tweaks.

                    The difference between Linux and Windows most of the time is that Windows get entirely new drivers for each device while Linux tries to stuff all the variants' logic into a single driver. The Windows way is better for people who just want to get shit to work out of the box by installing a manufacturer driver that came with the device. The Linux way is better for the kernel developers who are writing the device drivers that the device manufacturers aren't.

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                    • #11
                      Oh, so now it's a priority? Where have they been for the past...oooh, four years now?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
                        Looking at the list of other projects that have been labelled "high-priority", I think it means that it will never be done.
                        Agreed. The FSF should either back the projects they label as 'high-priority' with financial and/or developer resources or stop labeling projects as such. Right now they are only making themselves look bad.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
                          Refusing to buy nvidia cards probably hurts open source development more than it helps. If you had one, you could at least help out the nouveau developers by testing the nouveau driver.
                          If you had a copy of Windows, then you could reverse-engineer their stuff and improve Wine.

                          If you don't buy Windows, you're also hurting OSS development. And Office. And Photoshop. Everybody, buy, now. Don't like, spend it on companies that actually pay for OSS developments, no, buy nvidia, MS and Adobe!

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                          • #14
                            Stupid vendor-specific non-standard extensions!

                            Originally posted by elanthis View Post
                            There will be a ton of device-specific tweaks, but then that's the same for Intel HD audio chipsets or SATA controllers or even USB HID devices. Nobody follows the damn specs precisely, so you always need drivers with a ton of tweaks.
                            And that's exactly why we're so screwed, especially considering that these morons completely lack the concept of at least bothering to document how and where they intentionally screwed up.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
                              Refusing to buy nvidia cards probably hurts open source development more than it helps. If you had one, you could at least help out the nouveau developers by testing the nouveau driver.
                              Yeah right. Unlike a reverse engineered PowerVR driver the Nouveau driver is largely a waste of time since you have an option to buy a system with an integrated AMD/ATI or Intel GPU or buy a dedicated AMD/ATI GPU, you know, companies that actually spend money and dev time on OSS drivers for their hardware unlike Nvidia that just put out a gimmick and a pittance for OSS drivers.

                              Now though, for the vast majority of ARM based consumer products there is no option other then a PowerVR GPU and you can't add in your own GPU since none of the hardware comes with an expansion slot. Sure, Nvidia is making inroads into the ARM market with their Tegra line of SoCs, but the market is still dominated by Texas Instruments.

                              Yeah, I know Qualcomm's Snapdragon series SoCs use the ATI Imageon derived Adreno, but from what I've seen there’s no OSS driver being developed for it. Yes, there’s also VIA/S3's ARM chips like the WM8505, which has no good Linux driver, nor is it fast enough anyone to actually want something based around it outside of disposable mini laptops for black hatting.

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