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Reverse Engineering, Open-Source Driver Writing Continues For Apple's M1 GPU

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  • Reverse Engineering, Open-Source Driver Writing Continues For Apple's M1 GPU

    Phoronix: Reverse Engineering, Open-Source Driver Writing Continues For Apple's M1 GPU

    Alyssa Rosenzweig spoke today at the virtual X.Org Developers Conference about the ongoing work for bringing up Linux display and graphics support on the Apple M1 graphics processor...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...le-AGX-XDC2021

  • #2
    I really look forward to this. Even if it is a GPU exclusive to one manufacturer with a bad reputation on Linux land, this is an impressive and massive effort..... for just one developer.

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    • #3
      She's a real superstar. Glad we have her.

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      • #4
        It will end up like nouveau at best, but I'm not worried because I feel lucky enough to know what to buy and what to avoid.

        Anyway kudos for the work, it will be very useful in the future.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lucrus View Post
          It will end up like nouveau at best, but I'm not worried because I feel lucky enough to know what to buy and what to avoid.

          Anyway kudos for the work, it will be very useful in the future.
          Remember that the reason that Nouveau sucks as bad as it does today isn't just because Nvidia provides no documentation, they actively and deliberately stonewall the project by packaging and licensing their firmware blobs in a way where Nouveau will never be able to do 3D rendering, video decoding, and power management without Nvidia's blessing for particular models and generations. While from what i've heard this kind of insurmountable problem hasn't been run into on the Apple reverse engineering effort yet.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by iskra32 View Post

            Remember that the reason that Nouveau sucks as bad as it does today isn't just because Nvidia provides no documentation, they actively and deliberately stonewall the project by packaging and licensing their firmware blobs in a way where Nouveau will never be able to do 3D rendering, video decoding, and power management without Nvidia's blessing for particular models and generations. While from what i've heard this kind of insurmountable problem hasn't been run into on the Apple reverse engineering effort yet.
            If you are forced to reverse engineer it is because there is no documentation.

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            • #7
              Mixed feelings about the energy being spent on something closed source but w.e to each their own... Maybe one day there will be a actual apple hardware competitor thay people flock to when they want the build quality of apple but ability to run Linux on it

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Charlie68 View Post
                If you are forced to reverse engineer it is because there is no documentation.
                Obviously yes, but thats not my point. My point is that in 2021 the primary thing limiting Nouveau is Nvidia deliberately stonewalling the project rather than just investing zero effort in FOSS like most companies, which puts Nvidia a league above Broadcom, Mali, Vivante and from what we know Apple in terms of being scum. It also means that the AGX driver has the chance to suck less than nouveau.

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                • #9
                  Really impressive and promising work.

                  I really wonder why Alyssa didn't focus on developing a Vulkan driver first, though. As she herself said in the presentation, Metal is conceptually quite close to Vulkan, and the GPU lacks some of the hardware features required for full OpenGL support. Why not leave the OpenGL compatibility stuff to Zink?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SteamPunker View Post
                    Really impressive and promising work.

                    I really wonder why Alyssa didn't focus on developing a Vulkan driver first, though. As she herself said in the presentation, Metal is conceptually quite close to Vulkan, and the GPU lacks some of the hardware features required for full OpenGL support. Why not leave the OpenGL compatibility stuff to Zink?
                    I asked this as well in the other thread as well, and replies indicate that Alyssa has more experience with OpenGL than Vulkan, and that Metal is lower-level than Vulkan.

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