Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

NVIDIA Alerts Nouveau: They're Starting To Sign/Validate GPU Firmware Images

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • NVIDIA Alerts Nouveau: They're Starting To Sign/Validate GPU Firmware Images

    Phoronix: NVIDIA Alerts Nouveau: They're Starting To Sign/Validate GPU Firmware Images

    To the dismay of open-source fans, NVIDIA is tightening the belt so to speak around their GPU hardware: with Maxwell and future hardware, certain aspects of the NVIDIA graphics processor chip will only be available to the "Falcon" (a.k.a. "FUC") firmware images that have been signed by NVIDIA. While this will throw a wrench at Nouveau's open-source effort, NVIDIA at least informed Nouveau and are jointly working towards an adequate solution...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTc5ODA

  • #2
    FUC(k). A very appropriate name it seems :S

    Comment


    • #3
      I doubt security is the only reason. This might be related to the "Chinese" versions of high-end GPUs which are old, low end chips with a modified fimrware image.
      Plenty of people bought GTX780 cards for 100$... those were actually GTX240 :P

      Comment


      • #4
        Or You know - One hardware, multiple versions ( degrading speed & crippling hardware ) controlled by FUC(k) ,,|,,

        Comment


        • #5
          Security? Whose?

          Why should the hardware defend itself from the driver in the name of the user's security, when the driver is obviously already trusted by the user and can, if it wants, program the hardware to do all kinds of damage, even with a signed and official firmware?

          Anyway, this won't be a problem IF the firmware license allows it to be freely redistributed in its unmodified form. Otherwise people who install a Linux distribution would find that they have to connect to the internet in order to get their video card working, which can be tedious or even impossible depending on the situation.

          Comment


          • #6
            without depending upon closed-source and non-redistributable firmware blobs
            This is a pure speculation. I guess NVIDIA has nothing against redistributing firmware blobs (after all NVIDIA drivers can be freely downloaded). It's just crazy open source fanatics who hate firmware.

            certain aspects of the chip will only be available to Falcon firmware images signed by NVIDIA.
            That makes perfect sense. Modern GPUs are no longer just stupid video cards - they are computational processors which can perform many different operations beyond just computing geometry and then applying T&L, e.g. GPUs can work with system memory more or less directly, just like CPUs, so it makes sense to verify firmware to avoid nasty things which NVIDIA cannot control.

            Besides firmware might control many crucial things like voltages, fans, etc., so this way NVIDIA guarantees that its products won't be misused and won't die due to some open source developer mistake. NVIDIA can employ hundreds of people to do proper QC & QA which is unheard of in the Linux world.

            the hardware is less open-source friendly on a fundamental term
            How so?

            Michael, don't be a fanatic.

            Comment


            • #7
              They either provide redistributable firmware images then, or Linus' approach still stands valid.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by birdie View Post
                I guess NVIDIA has nothing against redistributing firmware blobs (after all NVIDIA drivers can be freely downloaded). It's just crazy open source fanatics who hate firmware.
                Unfortunately, your guess isn't gonna satisfy the lawyers. If there isn't a file that says "you may redistribute this" like the one that AMD provides, then legally you can't. It won't affect end users - in exactly the same way that technically I am not allowed to watch a lot of the videos on YouTube - but it will affect distributions such as Red Hat, Canonical and Debian.

                Hopefully, NVidia will see sense and officially bless redist. Then again, hopefully they come around to supporting Nouveau.


                NVIDIA requiring signed firmware images is being done to better protect the hardware from being misprogrammed for security reasons.
                FWIW - signing firmware is done so that you can manufacture one chip design and sell crippled versions. Eventually they'll have an in-app purchases "unlock 60fps" for hardware...

                Comment


                • #9
                  As long as NVIDIA allows Nouveau to redistribute the firmwares and end users don't have to hunt for it, sure go for it. The end-user couldn't care as long as their card works.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Historically it has been that broken (during manufacturing) chips get "crippled" by firmware and sold such that the remaining functionally constitutes a different functional selling than the non-broken one would have. If you remove the "crippling", the chip will still remain partially broken and most likely crash as it then randomly tries to use hardware that doesn't work

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X