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Ex-NVIDIA Engineer Patent Issue With Open-Source

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  • #16
    Not to forget that none current driver implements it in hw afaik. Mesa supports it, but I don't assume any gallium driver implements it. And if I want to compress my textures on hdd and uncompress them before sending to GPU, there are much better image formats (png, jpg, ...). You use S3TC not cause it compress so well, you use it cause it stays compressed in memory (e.g. we use it for groundtextures which would be >300MB if uncompressed), saving bandwidth & storage.

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    • #17
      According to Wikipedia the patent number for the claim is US5956431 which would be referenced in law docs as the 431 patent. You can see the patent here http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publi...E&locale=en_EP you can check the claims and legal status by clicking on the left hand side. If you do that then the patent office has not posted any thing indicating that the patent is now invalid. Further I see no reference to this patent at all in the Apple law suite pdf posted above. So unless this is the wrong patent I see no indications that it is now invalid. Of course that could be in another document. But this site doesn't seem to show it as being part of the law suite at all. http://tech2.in.com/news/smartphones...om-suit/316892

      Wikipedia claims here that US patents are now good for 20 years from the filing date. Which from the application number US19970942860 19971002 would seem to be 1997. So we have roughly 5 more years of this shite.

      Wikipedia patent length link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_of..._United_States

      This is about as far as my knowledge takes me. If there are further questions I would suggest asking at Groklaw.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by -jK- View Post
        Not to forget that none current driver implements it in hw afaik. Mesa supports it, but I don't assume any gallium driver implements it.
        Indeed,

        My feeling was that TC formats that are arithmetically similar to S3TC could leverage existing hardware acceleration through some creative driver tricks (such as the creation of a compressed intermediate format, or transformation). Whether the performance benefits would outweigh the costs of such an implementation is unknown to me. Round pegs can fit into square holes if you make the hole bigger, or the peg smaller, or file the sides flat first.

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