1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Great Linux Innovations Of 2008

Michael Larabel

Published on 30 December 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 2 of 3 - 12 Comments

Graphics Execution Manager:

At the start of this year, most X.Org developers would have thought Tungsten's TTM memory manager would have entered the mainline Linux kernel and become the de facto standard for GPU memory management within the kernel, but Intel's Graphics Execution Manager shook everything up. As developers voiced concerns over TTM and its complicated API, the Intel team led by Keith Packard had announced GEM, or the Graphics Execution Manager.

Since its May introduction, it has rattled the X.Org scene and was released with the mainline Linux 2.6.28 kernel earlier this month. While the Graphics Execution Manager can be looked at as being superior to the Translation Table Maps, its timing wasn't ideal since it caused DRI2 to be stripped out from X.Org 7.4 / X Server 1.5 and when it was first proposed to enter the mainline kernel it was referred to as untested crap.

GEM by itself isn't something for end-users to get excited over, but it will allow for faster performance once the code has been optimized, kernel memory management is a prerequisite for kernel mode-setting, and also caused the introduction of a new but faster acceleration API.

The Intel driver fully utilizes the Graphics Execution Manager while the open-source ATI and NVIDIA drivers will be using a mix of TTM and GEM. The drivers will implement the GEM API but internally will be using a form of TTM (A GEM-ified TTM manager).

Open-Source Hardware Drivers:

Late last year AMD made the major announcement of their open-source initiative to provide fully open-source 2D/3D ATI drivers for all of their hardware on Linux while continuing to produce their performance-oriented Catalyst Linux driver. AMD has continued pushing out new code and documentation this year, but many other hardware companies have joined the open-source bandwagon too.

Creative Labs had been released buggy X-Fi Linux drivers for over a year after their original binary driver was years late and riddled with different shortcomings, but last month they had conceded and open-sourced their X-Fi driver. Earlier in 2008 they also had provided X-Fi hardware specifications to 4Front Technologies so that there could be an open-source X-Fi driver in the Open Sound System. However, to date there still is no Creative X-Fi driver within the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture.

After several failed attempts in the past at being open-source friendly, this year VIA Technologies announced a new open-source strategy. Because of VIA's bad attempts in the past, many called their open-source efforts a bluff and it took them a while to evaluate their open-source role, but what VIA has released to date includes 2D/3D register documentation, a partnership with the OpenChrome driver team, Chrome 9 Series DRM support, a new X.Org driver, republished old programming guides, an open-source liaison, and a kernel frame-buffer driver.

Atheros is another company that was once notorious with Linux users, but this year they had turned around after they hired two MadWiFi developers and then proceeded to release an open-source 802.11n Linux driver (named ath9k) and then in September released the Atheros 802.11a/b/g HAL under a BSD-derived free software license.

Just yesterday AMD had released open-source R600/700 3D code and they're on their way with new documentation as well.

Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 vs. Fedora 21 Tests: Linux Sweeps The Board
  2. The New Place Where Linux Code Is Constantly Being Benchmarked
  3. 18-GPU NVIDIA/AMD Linux Comparison Of BioShock: Infinite
  4. Phoronix Test Suite 5.6 Adds New Phoromatic Enterprise Benchmarking Features
  5. OpenGL Threaded Optimizations Responsible For NVIDIA's Faster Performance?
  6. Big Graphics Card Comparison Of Metro Redux Games On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Git 2.4.0-rc0 Does A Ton Of Polishing
  2. The Most Common, Annoying Issue When Benchmarking Ubuntu On Many Systems
  3. Mesa Is At Nearly 1,500 Commits This Year
  4. Gestures & Other GTK3 Features For LibreOffice
  5. It's Now Easier To Try PHP 7 On Fedora & RHEL
  6. BQ Is Cleaning Up Their Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Kernel
  7. Allwinner Continues Jerking Around The Open-Source Community
  8. NVIDIA Linux 349.12 Beta Has Improved G-SYNC & VDPAU Features
  9. Canonical Just Made It Even Easier To Benchmark Ubuntu Linux In The Cloud
  10. NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X Linux Testing Time
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Introducing The Library Operating System For Linux
  2. AMD Is Hiring Two More Open-Source Linux GPU Driver Developers
  3. New SecureBoot Concerns Arise With Windows 10
  4. Allwinner Caught Obfuscating Their Improperly Licensed Code
  5. Latest OpenSSL Vulnerabilities Revealed; LibreSSL In Better Shape
  6. GNU Nano 2.4.0 Brings Complete Undo System, Linter Support & More
  7. GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.16.0 Released
  8. Systemd Change Allows For Stateless Systems With Tmpfs