The Nouveau Driver Is Moving Along Slowly But Surely
The Nouveau Companion, the newsletter by the Nouveau driver developers about the progress on their NVIDIA reverse-engineering challenge for creating an open-source NVIDIA Linux driver, has its first new issue in nearly two years.
It Is Nouveau Companion 44 and can be found on the Nouveau Wiki. Sadly it's not too overly exciting if you pay attention to the Phoronix news posts pertaining to this community project.
To sum up this newsletter issue, there is initial Fermi support in place with the latest bits but there is still a need for out-of-tree firmware/microcode, the Nouveau Fermi performance is quite interesting, memory management improvements are being made, the NVFX/NV50 Gallium3D drivers are becoming stable, lots of performance improvements will be made once the NVC0 and NV50 drivers are sharing most of the same common code, Nouveau page-flipping is a win, and Wayland now works with Nouveau.
Power management for the Nouveau DRM is also coming along (except the NVC0 power management support is basically non-existent at this point), and there is some strange bug affecting several generations of NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau right now where the system will lock-up between one and several times per day.
The Nouveau Companion 44 does also provide some details on the Fermi firmware situation with regards to FuC, reverse engineering this micro-code, the PDAEMON engine, and a Japanese researcher has written an LLVM-based FuC compiler that can generate the working binary firmware. The code to this micro-controller compiler for NVIDIA's newest GPUs will be published soon.
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