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Thread: VIA Joins The Open Driver Bandwagon

  1. #1
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    Default VIA Joins The Open Driver Bandwagon

    Phoronix: VIA Joins The Open Driver Bandwagon

    Announced this morning at the second annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit is a new open-source driver development initiative. VIA Technologies has announced its strategic open-source driver development initiative. VIA will be providing technical specifications, source-code, and other information regarding their latest products. In addition, they'll be opening a new web-site devoted to its new Linux efforts.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=12168

  2. #2
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    Default VIA = EVEREX = Formosa Plastics Group has been increasingly supportive of FOSS

    The Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group owns both VIA and Everex, who you might remember as the maker of the CloudBook, gPC, MyMiniPC, and a 15.4" regular laptop, all of which run Linux. VIA has also released enough docs so that a VIA desktop motherboard can now run Coreboot (formerly known as LinuxBIOS).

    The more money they save using FOSS and avoiding the M$ tax, the more resources they can afford to put into making their hardware work better on Linux. It's interesting to note that the MyMiniPC uses Intel prcessors/graphics chips, presumebly because VIA chips can't do Compiz yet. Once they get the VIA graphics drivers in shape, VIA won't have to use chips from their competitors.
    Last edited by stan; 04-08-2008 at 11:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    now that was unexpected. i though via had pretty decent linux compatibility, but it's always better if the vendor makes an effort to make it even better.

    maybe they want something like splashtop properly working on their motherboards as well?

  4. #4
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    I don't think you need much changes to run splashtop, the biggest change would be a huger flash memory chip. You can strip down Linux pretty much, when you don't use udev to load a very modular kernel and use fixed vesa framebuffer (similar to damn small linux) then you can get extra fast startup time. But startup time is not everything, when you are used to higher refresh rates, Xv accelleration and such things you need a different approach. Basically without hw detection you would only need to change the part which loads the network driver. "Old" hotplug for usb devices maybe...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by yoshi314 View Post
    maybe they want something like splashtop properly working on their motherboards as well?
    It's funny you say that, I came to that realization today when the VIA guy said he is now a Device VM advisor....

  6. #6
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    Thank you VIA.

  7. #7
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    I hope this means public datasheets/manuals. I tried to get manuals out of VIA once, to fix a problem I was having with the Rhine driver in Plan 9. Without going into details, let's say that the Linux driver ended up being a much more reasonable source of information - which still means that I had to parse another driver's idiosyncrasies to even have a chance of finding the info I needed. And while Linux is quite functional, it's generally not the prettiest thing ever to read.

    The kicker is that the datasheet I needed apparently used to be on VIA's public ftp.

  8. #8
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    Does this including S3 also?
    http://www.s3graphics.com/en/products/chrome_430gt/
    Hope so, might be pretty decent card for htpc use.

  9. #9
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    I was disappointed at how my C7 system runs, but between this and the new Isaiah processor I can see myself going for another Via box

  10. #10
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    let's hope that it'll start snowball effect, making more vendors take more active approach towards linux support.

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