The Back Story On The Open NVIDIA Tegra Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 28 November 2012 at 02:18 PM EST. 6 Comments
NVIDIA
New details have been shared with Phoronix about the back-story that led to the work on the open-source NVIDIA Tegra DRM graphics driver that will be introduced in the Linux 3.8 kernel.

For months there has been an independently-developed Tegra DRM driver that is finally being merged during the next kernel cycle (3.8). In September it was then shared at XDC2012 that NVIDIA would be opening up some Tegra documentation and then days ago I wrote that NVIDIA was contributing to this open-source driver. This week they even dropped some Tegra 2D acceleration code that works with this open-source Linux graphics driver.

Much of the Tegra DRM driver work was done by Thierry Reding, an employee of the German-based Avionic Design company. Not much has been shared as to the company's motive for working on this embedded open-source graphics driver, but that has now changed. Kai Poggensee, an R&D employee of Avionic Design has wrote into Phoronix with new details.

This Tegra DRM driver is indeed being financed by Avionic Design as a sponsored project. Avionic Design is an official worldwide partner with NVIDIA in the embedded space. They have been collaborating with NVIDIA over the creation of this open-source driver. Avionic Design is ultimately coming up with Tegra-based hardware products and desired this open-source DRM driver. One of these products powered by Tegra is Tamonten plus have other similar products too involving medical applications and aircraft.

Evidently the work on this open-source driver has been a long time coming. Interestingly, it's been said that there are individuals within NVIDIA that are as an interested in fostering open-source as much as Avionic Design. The work though has been hidden from the public eye until recently and is not a result of Torvalds' harsh comments towards NVIDIA.

Avionic Design has also reaffirmed their open-source driver support today in a statement on their web-site. Prost!

In related news, the Tegra 3 DRM support -- to complement the Tegra 2 support -- was commited today to David Airlie's DRM repository for Linux 3.8. The 2D patches have yet to be merged.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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