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The Back Story On The Open NVIDIA Tegra Driver
For months there has been an independently-developed Tegra DRM driver that is finally being merged during the next kernel cycle (3.8). In September it was then shared at XDC2012 that NVIDIA would be opening up some Tegra documentation and then days ago I wrote that NVIDIA was contributing to this open-source driver. This week they even dropped some Tegra 2D acceleration code that works with this open-source Linux graphics driver.
Much of the Tegra DRM driver work was done by Thierry Reding, an employee of the German-based Avionic Design company. Not much has been shared as to the company's motive for working on this embedded open-source graphics driver, but that has now changed. Kai Poggensee, an R&D employee of Avionic Design has wrote into Phoronix with new details.
This Tegra DRM driver is indeed being financed by Avionic Design as a sponsored project. Avionic Design is an official worldwide partner with NVIDIA in the embedded space. They have been collaborating with NVIDIA over the creation of this open-source driver. Avionic Design is ultimately coming up with Tegra-based hardware products and desired this open-source DRM driver. One of these products powered by Tegra is Tamonten plus have other similar products too involving medical applications and aircraft.
Evidently the work on this open-source driver has been a long time coming. Interestingly, it's been said that there are individuals within NVIDIA that are as an interested in fostering open-source as much as Avionic Design. The work though has been hidden from the public eye until recently and is not a result of Torvalds' harsh comments towards NVIDIA.
Avionic Design has also reaffirmed their open-source driver support today in a statement on their web-site. Prost!
In related news, the Tegra 3 DRM support -- to complement the Tegra 2 support -- was commited today to David Airlie's DRM repository for Linux 3.8. The 2D patches have yet to be merged.