NVIDIA To License Its Kepler GPU Technology
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 19 June 2013 at 08:51 AM EDT. 14 Comments
As a hopeful blow against imagination Technologies and their licensing of the PowerVR SGX graphics IP across the ARM SoC industry, NVIDIA has announced they too will get into the graphics IP licensing game. NVIDIA will begin licensing its "Kepler" graphics technology for in use by tablets, smart-phones, and other new form-factors.

While NVIDIA makes the Tegra ARM SoC, they haven't licensed their graphics IP technology until now. In battling Imagination PowerVR, ARM Mali, and other licensed graphics cores in the ARM world, System-on-a-Chip vendors can now license NVIDIA Kepler.

Out of NVIDIA, with a half-Watt power envelope you can get OpenGL 4.3, DirectX 11, and GPGPU (OpenCL / CUDA) capabilities. On the desktop side, Kepler powers the GeForce 600 and 700 series of graphics cards.

This is really a great move to see out of NVIDIA but it will be interesting to see how they handle the driver situation for licensees and whether they will provide a unified Android/Linux driver for their client, allow them source-access and to alter their base graphics driver, or leave it up to the vendors to come up with their own software driver. Too bad Nouveau isn't up to scratch here due to its lack of Kepler re-clocking abilities and other poor power management capabilities and other M.I.A. features.

More details of NVIDIA getting into the GPU licensing business can be found on the NVIDIA blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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