Nouveau Fermi Acceleration Merged Into X Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 16 January 2011 at 09:08 PM EST. 2 Comments
The Nouveau (and PathScale) developers working on reverse-engineering the NVIDIA Linux binary driver in turn to write a free software driver with 2D/3D acceleration for all of NVIDIA's graphics processors, have another accomplishment under their belt today. They've now merged the NVC0 (a.k.a. "Fermi") acceleration support into the xf86-video-nouveau DDX driver.

Landing into the Linux 2.6.37 kernel DRM was initial mode-setting support for GeForce 400/500 "Fermi" graphics cards, but it went without any actual acceleration support. With the Linux 2.6.38 kernel there is now initial open-source acceleration support for NVIDIA Fermi GPUs, so the DDX driver bits have now been merged into the mainline xf86-video-nouveau display driver.

The NVC0 merge done by Red Hat's Ben Skeggs plays with about 5,000 lines of code and allows 2D EXA acceleration to work as well as X-Video video playback. The big git commit can be found via FreeDesktop.org CGit.

One of the other exceptions to the Nouveau Fermi support is that it currently requires firmware not living within the mainline Linux kernel tree to operate. Nevertheless, the GeForce 400/500 series open-source support is moving along without the support of NVIDIA.
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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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