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  • Compute Support Is Moving Along For Nouveau

    Phoronix: Compute Support Is Moving Along For Nouveau

    Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat at the end of 2017 continues working on Nouveau compute support along with fellow hat-wearing open-source graphics driver developer Rob Clark...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...te-In-Progress

  • #2
    This could be one of the most interesting open source drivers, since it could signify whether or not Nvidia intentionally downgrades their OpenCL drivers. This of course is assuming things like reclocking are working properly, and that the open-source OpenCL is faster than closed-source CUDA.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
      This could be one of the most interesting open source drivers, since it could signify whether or not Nvidia intentionally downgrades their OpenCL drivers. This of course is assuming things like reclocking are working properly, and that the open-source OpenCL is faster than closed-source CUDA.
      Aaand this is the reason NVIDIA is doing what they are doing with firmwares (i.e. releasing only firmwares needed for basic GPU operation, but not for reclocking or hardware decoding/encoding or anything beyond showing the GUI on the screen.

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      • #4
        The open source community has always been masochist. Some seem to love the green vampire that sucks the blood of everyone who deals with it that much they dedicate their life time even when it‘s already clear that it‘s times in this business are over in few months.

        The ARM and embedded market is the only market it can be successful just in the near future.

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        • #5
          Probably this is the main thing I haven't understood yet about Linux, what's wrong with releasing open source drivers?
          Where is the threatened for some reluctant manufacturers? Is it because with open source drivers they can't control the planned obsolescence like happened recently with the Iphone batteries scandal?
          Last edited by Danielsan; 03-09-2018, 06:09 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Danielsan View Post
            Probably this is the main thing I haven't understood yet about Linux, what's wrong with releasing open source drivers?
            Where is the threatened for some reluctant manufacturers? Is it because with open source driver sthey can't control the planned obsolescence like happened recently with the Iphone batteries scandal?
            -open drivers (in mainline kernel) are required to have a minimum level of quality that is far more than what is considered acceptable for proprietary drivers in embedded (i.e. rushed buggy crap), sure they can release open drivers that don't go in mainline linux kernel, but it does not give them any benefit.

            -licensing issues. For commercial products is normal to have and rely on licensed software/libraries/code, so they might have used something in their closed drivers that they cannot use if they were opensourcing them, and this means higher development costs.

            -stolen shit, similar to licensing issues above, it's not uncommon for a company to not use 100% original/licensed designs/code/whatever, and going opensource would bust that pretty quick.

            -loss of control over the product lifecycle or feature segmentation, as now the driver can be maintained by the community (at least in theory)

            -irrational fear of opensource, thinking it reveals their secret sauce and that it is a risk for their precious investment in hardware R&D. This is a very important factor as managers are ignorant (they are managers and not engineers for a reason) and tend to believe this common folklore.

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            • #7
              https://m.hardocp.com/article/2018/0...onsumer_choice

              Poor Nvidia needs our help, why don‘t you implement Ansel, Hairworks and other proprietary crap to make their expensive inferior GPUs stay on top forever
              But probably as soon as people benefit by getting these “expensive“ samples for free they tell people shit to support their holy leather jacket idol.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                This could be one of the most interesting open source drivers, since it could signify whether or not Nvidia intentionally downgrades their OpenCL drivers. This of course is assuming things like reclocking are working properly, and that the open-source OpenCL is faster than closed-source CUDA.
                Probably both would be roughly the same speed on optimal code path, as both are limited by the hardware itself. Nvidia does indeed artificially cap the OCL version, but not because of speed, but Cuda being a brand which makes a shitton of money.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                  ...
                  Thanks, by the way a floss driver stack could benefits by the community free support with an extreme R&D savings for the vendors, isn't it?
                  Last edited by Danielsan; 03-12-2018, 01:56 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Danielsan View Post
                    Thanks, by the way a floss driver stack could benefits by the community free support with an extreme R&D savings for the vendors, isn't it?
                    Community "support" does not give them terribly large savings per-se, as it only keeps the driver current (i.e. adjusts its interfaces with kernel or Mesa or whatever else that changes over time), which isn't a terribly time-consuming process.

                    What would save them quite a bit of $$$ is the plain community-fueled driver development. If they released decent hardware documentation on something that does interest the community or opensource-oriented companies (RedHat or others that pay mercenaries from Collabora or Free Electrons) then yeah, someone would likely jump on it and make and keep improving a driver using opensource infrastructure (Mesa, ddx, DRM) for them "for free". Even now many embedded device drivers were developed without much input from the vendor itself, and bigger projects like AMD drivers receive contributions on relatively minor stuff, freeing up their developers to do more important tasks.

                    This is possible because on Linux ecosystem all subsystems are structured like large libraries of pre-made functions you can then use to write drivers (this is a simplification to explain), and this means that actually getting a decent driver up and running would take much less work than just writing something from scratch.

                    But again the specifics vary greatly depending on the hardware complexity (embedded hardware, network hardware and such is relatively simple, modern high-performance GPUs are pretty complex beasts) and what costs and deals the vendor has, and how dangerous the managers/lawyers think that providing decent docs to community is.

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