The Nouveau open-source NVIDIA kernel driver changes for the Linux 3.14 kernel are now known. The Nouveau changes are exciting in having hardware acceleration support for some new GPUs but is less exciting as it's yet another kernel release without proper dynamic power management / re-clocking support.
Ilia Mirkin has published an exciting set of 19 patches to the Nouveau's NV50 Gallium3D driver that up the OpenGL support for this open-source NVIDIA graphics driver.
While it isn't in the form of any complete documentation, a NVIDIA engineer has begun answering questions by the open-source Nouveau driver developers about video decoding with their H.264 engine.
A patch has been sent out by Nouveau contributor Ilia Mirkin that now enables H.264 video capabilities within the NV50 Gallium3D graphics driver for VP3/VP4 hardware.
Last week was the main set of Nouveau DRM driver changes for the Linux 3.13, which included new power management and re-clocking code for this open-source NVIDIA driver. Prior to David Airlie sending in the DRM pull request a few hours ago, a few more Nouveau changes were merged.
The Linux 3.13 kernel has major power management and re-clocking changes -- including automatic fan management by default and initial support for Fermi/Kepler GPU core re-clocking -- and now separate from that work are some more re-clocking improvements. This time around the re-clocking work is for some older NVIDIA integrated/mobile graphics cores.
If you have checked out drm-next since yesterday when Nouveau received new re-clocking and power management code that's still experimental but brings initial support for Fermi and Kepler GPUs, you may have noticed the disappearance of the performance_level sysfs.
Ben Skeggs of Red Hat published his set of kernel DRM driver changes for Nouveau to enter in the Linux 3.13 kernel... The changes are super exciting as they work on new power management and re-clocking support! From my point of view and that of many Linux enthusiasts, the lack of proper re-clocking support has been the number one limitation of this open-source NVIDIA GPU driver.
It's been a while since the last Nouveau X.Org driver update, but last night was marked by the xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.10 release and with it comes a handful of changes.
The Nouveau NV50 Gallium3D graphics driver has received a patch for implementing the ARB_texture_multisample extension that's needed by OpenGL 3.2.
Samuel Pitoiset of the Nouveau driver project, and the student who was participating in this year's Google Summer of Code, has made great progress in understanding and documenting NVIDIA's "NV50" GPUs performance counters.
While the Nouveau driver has been developed entirely through reverse-engineering the NVIDIA binary blob and is largely developed by community-based developers (many of whom are students), they have made a lot of progress in recent months in pushing forward with new features and functionality for this open-source NVIDIA Linux graphics driver.
Martin Peres gave a status update this week during the XDC2013 X.Org conference on the status of the project but in more particular its big troublesome spot right now: power-management / re-clocking.
The open-source Nouveau graphics driver has supported fan control management on some NVIDIA GPUs for several kernel releases now, but the support hasn't been enabled by default. Fortunately, that may soon change.
For those that were hoping there would be NVIDIA GeForce 400/500/600/700 Fermi/Kepler GPU improvements or better re-clocking or anything fundamentally advanced in the Linux 3.12 kernel for the Nouveau graphics driver, that is not the case.
The open-source Nouveau graphics driver for reverse-engineered NVIDIA hardware support now has initial support for the ARM architecture and as part of that initial enablement for NVIDIA graphics on Tegra SoCs.
There's been a number of Mesa Git commits this morning concerning video acceleration within the Nouveau Gallium3D driver.
The open-source and reverse-engineered Nouveau driver is now able to tap the more recent "VP3" and "VP4" video encode/decode engines on recent NVIDIA GPUs that make up NVIDIA's PureVideo HD technology. With utilizing these VP3/VP4 engines, there can be MPEG-2 and VC-1 acceleration using this hardware.
Precise vBlank timing support has been patched for the Nouveau DRM driver to support the NV50 through NVC0 NVIDIA GPUs (up to and through Fermi but not yet any NVD0 or Kepler hardware).
A set of patches were published this weekend to improve the Nouveau NVIDIA Gallium3D graphics driver's handling of video playback acceleration for certain scenarios.
We now know that the Linux 3.11 kernel has a heck of a lot of AMD Radeon performance potential through the new dynamic power management (DPM) support in its DRM kernel driver, but how's the Nouveau performance? Here's some new benchmarks.
The patches published one month ago for Nouveau NVIDIA Fermi Compute Support on the open-source driver have now been committed to master for the next Mesa release. More importantly this is the base work for implementing NVIDIA performance counters.
While DRI2 PRIME has led to Optimus-like support for laptops with NVIDIA/Intel GPU combinations, one of the problems making this technology less beneficial is the lack of dynamic power management handling. What's the point of keeping one GPU fed with power when it's being unused and just lowering your battery life? Fortunately, a fix is ahead.
The Nouveau driver project is back to needing reverse-engineering data dumps on select NVIDIA graphics processors, which will help in some new re-clocking work. If you're just a Linux desktop user but wanting to help out this reverse-engineered NVIDIA driver project, providing MMIOtrace dumps is a great way to contribute.
The latest release of the open-source NVIDIA X.Org driver is now xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.9. Features of this new update include multi-screen reverse Optimus support and NVIDIA "NVF0" EXA and X-Video hardware acceleration.
For those looking to utilize hardware-based video acceleration for the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver on NVIDIA hardware, it's become a little bit easier setting up the system.
While Radeon DPM for Linux 3.11 is most of what Linux enthusiasts are talking about, the Nouveau changes in Linux 3.11 include support for H.264 and MPEG2 video decoding. The necessary user-space driver changes have now been made for supporting this accelerated video decode process from Nouveau Gallium3D.
As the latest for our early Ubuntu 13.10 Linux performance benchmarks, here's a brief comparison of the Nouveau Gallium3D vs. NVIDIA binary graphics driver performance from a NVIDIA GeForce "Fermi" graphics processor.
While the reverse-engineered Nouveau graphics driver has limited support for OpenCL/GPGPU support, it's been mainly capped to older "NV50" graphics cards. Published today though for review are patches for the Fermi "NVC0" hardware to expose compute support as well as the hardware performance counters.
The open-source reverse-engineered Nouveau driver now has 2D EXA acceleration and X-Video support for NVIDIA's "NVF0" or better known as the GK110 GPU found in the NVIDIA GeForce TITAN and GeForce GTX 780. Updates to the Nouveau DRM and Mesa Gallium3D driver have also arrived.
322 Nouveau news articles published on Phoronix.