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Red Hat Developers Continue Working On OpenCL/Compute For Nouveau

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  • Red Hat Developers Continue Working On OpenCL/Compute For Nouveau

    Phoronix: Red Hat Developers Continue Working On OpenCL/Compute For Nouveau

    Karol Herbst and others at Red Hat continue working on improving the open-source GPU compute for Linux, particularly for the Nouveau open-source reverse-engineered NVIDIA driver...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...IR-Work-OpenCL

  • #2
    It must be nice being a company making more money than any other, while getting other people to do stuff for them for free.

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    • #3
      I agree with the article - doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

      OpenCL 2.x on CUDA seems a much more promising avenue.

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      • #4
        Though as to why Red Hat is investing so much into the open-source Nouveau driver for GPU computing is what's really perplexing
        Michael I too was wondering this. The most likely explanation I came up with is this:
        1. Premise: Red Hat customers are increasingly utilizing and relying upon GPU compute on the Red Hat platform. (I don't know if this is true; it's an assumption)
        2. Premise: NVidia make very popular hardware for use on the Red Hat platform. (I also don't know how popular NVidia is versus AMD for GNU/Linux compute work)
        3. Red Hat recognise that they are competing with Microsoft.
        4. Red Hat recognise that Microsoft have a recorded history of utilizing their near-monopoly to make special deals with hardware manufacturers to promote their software & services at the expense of their competitors.
        5. Red Hat recognise that if NVidia are tempted into signing one of the agreements mentioned above, then all of a sudden NVidia may stop supporting/maintaining their proprietary drivers on the Red Hat platform. In this situation, Red Hat would not legally or practically be able to maintain the drivers themselves and rapidly add support for new NVidia hardware. This would pose a large financial risk to their business.
        6. Red Hat decide to mitigate this risk to a potentially growing and lucrative area of their business, by immediately starting work on building and maintaining robust Open Source compute drivers for NVidia hardware.
        7. When these compute drivers are fast, well documented, well integrated and stable (complete with re-clocking support), Red Hat will likely promote them to their customers over the NVidia proprietary alternative. For customers that don't adopt them, they may simply maintain documentation for a fast migration path from proprietary drivers -> Open Source drivers, so that in the event NVidia / Microsoft do become a problem, they can quickly move their customers over to the Open Source drivers with low friction.
        This theory I have is more plausible when you consider that Valve are almost exactly following this pattern in a different market to mitigate the threat of Microsoft using their near-monopoly position to take over the extremely lucrative PC game distribution and social platform market. Valve are investing in Open Source, GPU, driver development.

        This is the best I've got

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        • #5
          Originally posted by phoronix View Post
          requires NVIDIA releasing more signed firmware images for allowing the power management to be controlled by the Nouveau driver
          Is it still possible to use the technique mentioned in this article to get reclocking working without waiting?

          you had to first initialize your GPU with the proprietary NVIDIA driver, run MMIOtrace, and dump the (non-redistributable) firmware blobs that could then be loaded by the Nouveau kernel driver.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by phoronix View Post
            Though as to why Red Hat is investing so much into the open-source Nouveau driver for GPU computing is what's really perplexing... Especially as most workstation/enterprise users don't object to using the proprietary NVIDIA driver stack, which is well supported on RHEL.
            This is not as hard to figure out as you may think. Quite simply, Red Hat doesn't like depending on proprietary software to make Linux useful for any task. They still haven't really given up on fixing this problem, and I'm glad they haven't.

            As for getting the signed firmware blobs, probably the reason for it still not happening is that the greater community is giving up on nouveau. That's not a good thing. I have hope that Red Hat may be able to convince NVIDIA to do the right thing here and release the blobs so the driver can be made useful.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by King InuYasha View Post
              As for getting the signed firmware blobs, probably the reason for it still not happening is that the greater community is giving up on nouveau
              Personally, I think nouveau is essential even if it remains slow. It the very least it can serve as a fast-enough, basic and reliable graphics driver to allow GNU/Linux distributions to just-work on most systems it is booted on. The user can get a desktop environment running and do basic tasks without the need of the proprietary driver.

              I'd love to see nouveau compete with the proprietary driver, but even if it fails at that it can still serve an important role.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by King InuYasha View Post

                This is not as hard to figure out as you may think. Quite simply, Red Hat doesn't like depending on proprietary software to make Linux useful for any task. They still haven't really given up on fixing this problem, and I'm glad they haven't.

                As for getting the signed firmware blobs, probably the reason for it still not happening is that the greater community is giving up on nouveau. That's not a good thing. I have hope that Red Hat may be able to convince NVIDIA to do the right thing here and release the blobs so the driver can be made useful.
                If this was the case, coreboot would make much more sense than trying to make nvidia products work without blobs.

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                • #9
                  Does having the discrete blobs simplify the reverse engineering process?

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                  • #10
                    Instead of looking at the duplication of technology, consider the business risk if NVIDIA goes in competition with RH in the area of crypto currency , blockchain, data mining, etc.

                    With Open Source drivers for RH, and derivatives, business continuity is reenforced.

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