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NVIDIA To Publicly Release Some Tegra GPU Documentation

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the some-is-better-than-none dept.

Graphics 85

An anonymous reader writes "It was revealed today during the annual X.Org Developers' Conference in Germany that NVIDIA will be publicly releasing Tegra graphics programming documentation. Initially this will cover their Tegra 2D engine but it's thought they might also be providing 3D engine documentation too. A slide shown at the conference says NVIDIA is committed to open-source. NVIDIA also allegedly has supplied documentation under NDA to one Nouveau developer and taken other covertly supportive steps. These actions come after NVIDIA has been notoriously unfriendly to open-source and months after Linus Torvalds pubilcly slammed the NVIDIA Linux support."

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85 comments

Fishes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413479)

Initially this will cover their Tegra 2D engine but it's wished they might also be providing 3D engine documentation too.

ftfy

Romney to publicly release some tax info (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413489)

Just announced: to release a notarized statement from PriceWaterhouseCooper saying he payed an average 20% effective tax rate over the last 20 years.

Re:Romney to publicly release some tax info (-1, Offtopic)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413691)

If you are going to try to troll something like that try to make it a bit more believable.

Such as.

Just announced: to release a notarized statement from PriceWaterhouseCooper saying he payed an average 20% effective tax rate when he was 20.

or

Just announced: to release a notarized statement from PriceWaterhouseCooper saying he payed an average 20% effective tax rate over the last 20 years on 2% of his income. The rest was taxed at a rate of 8%.

or

Just announced: to release a notarized statement from PriceWaterhouseCooper saying he payed an average 20% effective tax rate over the last 20 years on his private yacht.

Re:Romney to publicly release some tax info (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41416619)

If you are going to try to troll something like that try to make it a bit more believable.

Such as.

Just announced: to release a notarized statement from PriceWaterhouseCooper saying he payed an average 20% effective tax rate when he was 20.

or

Just announced: to release a notarized statement from PriceWaterhouseCooper saying he payed an average 20% effective tax rate over the last 20 years on 2% of his income. The rest was taxed at a rate of 8%.

or

Just announced: to release a notarized statement from PriceWaterhouseCooper saying he payed an average 20% effective tax rate over the last 20 years on his private yacht.

Yeah, he has more money than you and me. We should so totally hate his guts! I mean, it's what all the cool kids do. That's what the world needs - more hatred and petty bickering, not because the guy did something bad to harm you, but because we always have to be in other peoples' business, approving and disapproving, sitting on our high horse and deciding how everything should be.

Live and let live? No way in hell. That's too simple, peaceful, and doesn't give us nearly enough to get angry about! We need that visceral satisfaction of condemnation, which is the only satisfaction empty people will ever know. Someone else must be blamed for our problems. Someone well-off. That will teach them to have things someone else doesn't have!

Obama is dirt-poor by the way, just like all the other kids who've spent lots of time at Harvard. He made his millions from selling books and not from running a business, so that's okay. His money is less evil than Romney's. And we are totally unbiased in every way, evaluating everyone by the same standard.

Re:Romney to publicly release some tax info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41436241)

You need to look up the word "hate" in the dictionary, as it apparently doesn't mean what you think it does.

Clue: hate does not mean "Probably disagrees with on one or two issues, and is possibly critical of some aspects of the other party's behavior."

quake3.exe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413497)

First Post!

NDA (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413565)

"NVIDIA also allegedly has supplied documentation under NDA to one Nouveau developer"

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't this a bad thing? Because he's seen it under an NDA, he now is prevented from using it, which he otherwise could if he had figured it out on his own?

Re:NDA (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413587)

no, a NDA just means that he can't tell anyone else why the code works the way it does.

Re:NDA (4, Informative)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413669)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that mean cryptic, undocumented code which, if that particular developer quits, dies or is otherwise unable to work on the driver, becomes a black box? It is still incredibly open-source unfriendly.

Re:NDA (2)

Peter Bortas (130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414347)

You are not completely wrong for complicated hardware, but for things like sensors and stuff it doesn't need to be unmaintainable. Few if any of those NDAs also come with and demands to not write clear code and comment it.

You might be thinking of Nvidias old "Open Source" 2D drivers which where written by Nvidia and then showed through a code obfuscator before it was shipped.

Re:NDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41419011)

Not necessarily. That programmer could bury the hard specifics behind an abstraction that is more understandable to those that don't have the real documentation. It happens all the time in console game and peripheral development, where a good amount of coders aren't licensed and thus can't view the SDK calls, but the SDK calls are abstracted behind in house functions and stubs so that they can still work on it.

Re:NDA (1)

makomk (752139) | about a year and a half ago | (#41424025)

Pretty much. For instance, the Nvidia-developed and nominally open source nv driver for their graphics hardware was full of cryptic magic numbers dotted everywhere and seriously lacking in comments.

Re:NDA (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413635)

That depends what the NDA covers. It might cover just saying they gave him the document, it might cover him showing anyone the document, it might cover him telling anyone how code made from the document works, it might cover him not telling anyone how NVIDIA makes its pancakes. An NDA can cover a multitude of things.

Re:NDA (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41415093)

My first expectation would be that it covers implementation details, thus allowing the person under the NDA to write specs but not code. This would allow clean room drivers to be written without revealing the internals of the chips to everyone in the world.

Re:NDA (5, Insightful)

Peter Bortas (130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413949)

Getting HW documentation under NDA used to be a rather common thing for Linux driver developers and it's still not unusual. The NDA will say something to the effect of "You can't spread this doc, but feel free to build an OSS driver and talk about how it works".

Re:NDA (2)

GrumpyOldMan (140072) | about a year and a half ago | (#41417437)

It is probably not a bad thing.

Back in the day, I did FreeBSD drivers / platform support for DEC Alphas. I would occasionally get hardware and/or docs under NDA from DEC. The NDA basically said I could write open source drivers, but I could not share the documentation. This is how a lot of Linux / BSD hardware support still works.

Tegra and not Optimus? (4, Informative)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413609)

Wasnt the Linus shaming them for not supporting Optimus (which would help a lot of netbooks and laptops) and not about Tegra (which works but is not opensource, and hence makes custom ROMs difficult)

Unfriendly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413649)

How is NVIDIA unfriendly toward open source. They have the only high-end cards that work consistently on both Linux and FreeBSD. They've been maintaining their drivers for open source operating systems for years.

Re:Unfriendly? (5, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413697)

They don't provide hardware programming specs. Nor open source drivers. Intel and AMD do both.

Re:Unfriendly? (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413855)

But isn't it at least good of them to provide a driver in the first place?

Re:Unfriendly? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413971)

Not when that driver doesn't play nicely with the kernel. It's like giving somebody an engine for their car that occasionally breaks down, but not allowing them to open the hood and fix it.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414169)

Sure, but you have the choice of not accepting the engine.
Maybe I just don't understand, but it sort of feels like complaining about a free lunch.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

valros (1741778) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414193)

Nvidia's graphic cards are not free...

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414381)

That is true.

Nvidia provides a driver on Linux and FreeBSD, which they don't have to do. I'm sure they would do just fine financially by only supporting Microsoft Windows and perhaps Mac OS X.

As a Linux user I'm happy that I can buy a modern powerful graphics card and use it on Linux.
I would of course appreciate it if their driver were open source and we had proper documentation.

The fact that we don't doesn't mean that Nvidia is unfriendly toward open source, just that they are not as friendly as they could be.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414447)

I think they'd miss out on large parts of the graphics card computing market if they didn't support Linux.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41414497)

Got it in one.

They've several high-end CAD, and supercomputing customers that basically told them support it or no-go. ATI was already getting some of that back some 5-6 years ago as it was. Right now, they're probably getting pressured to open up Tegra a bit because of the issues/problems in the Android space because of them. Shame Qualcomm wasn't the first to do this sort of thing- they were as well positioned to do it and were at least faintly more inclined than NVidia was in past interactions with them.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

gerddie (173963) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414663)

Free lunch? You paid for the graphics card, right?

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414705)

True, but the point was that I remember a time when the luxury of even having access to decent graphics on Linux was a privilege. Nvidia doesn't have to support Linux more than any other vendor. Complaining about Nvidia not being "more open" is I think even a bit disrespectful.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

gmack (197796) | about a year and a half ago | (#41419739)

Here is an example from a few years back. I bought a nice new laptop after confirming that all components were compatible with Linux but what I didn't expect was that the wireless driver and the video driver required different kernels and in the end I had a useless laptop for the two weeks it took me to have a new mini PCI-E wireless card shipped to me.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414805)

10 years ago Linux was begging for support, now that it's become a desktop user power house it can demand support.

Re:Unfriendly? (1, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414219)

Vs AMD which says "Here's 1000 pages of Spec" you guys can write code to do what ever you want.

I'm not on the whole "BSD License is the Devil, GPL for life!" bandwagon. They're both open source. Nvidia actually provides timely updates and it works. My AMD machine on the other hand

1) just had support dropped. The motherboard is around 2 years old and I just got the warning from debian that it is 'no longer supported'.
2) It doesn't work. Hardware acceleration of x264 would just crash XBMC. I've heard it's gotten better but between "Crashes but is completely open source" and "closed source but works" I'm going to choose the latter.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41414457)

You using FGLRX or the Open Source drivers?

Because honestly if you have an AMD motherboard that's 2 years old with onboard graphics, I'm assuming it's AM2/3 and the old HD2000/3000 (R600 core) graphics hardware. Which lacking in OpenCL support has literally *NOT* advantage in using the fglrx driver over the r600 mesa driver (I happen to have an R700 core chip, which as I found out has almost worthless OpenCL support to begin with. Besides those cores not supporting Denormals, a number of ati's non-trivial cl demos from the stream SDK run 'properly' but give bogus values (Notable being the FloydWarshall sample run on GPU versus CPU. Gee, does it look like there's some bogus values in there? Disabling the check code for the BlackScholesDP and MonteCarloAsianDP samples show similiar garbage values.)

Now mind you I agree with the complaints about AMD dropping support for hardware that's *STILL IN RETAILED CHANNELS IN NON-TRIVIAL NUMBERS*. But as far as linux support is concerned, that stuff is about as feature complete as it's ever going to be, unlike say R700 OpenCL support (Apparently the devs involved in the clang/llvm OCL work don't feel it necessary to actually do the legwork for OpenCL 1.1 support since 'basically nothing uses it anyway').

Anyways Mesa+R600 cores is pretty damn stable, and even on the HD3000 760G motherboard I've got here, it's been rock solid even watching flash videos.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year and a half ago | (#41420323)

duh, who cares about OpenCL? OpencCL is dead. It's a benchmarking platform.

If proprietery drivers aren't better than open source, it's sad. Graphics drivers cost millions of dollars you know. Linux users can run low quality drivers more easily because there are almost no games, and the users are more tolerant of bugs.

nvidia did drop support for their much older geforce 6100/7025, recently. Wait.. it's not supported by latest drivers anymore, but a new Legacy driver version has been created, which will be supported and updated for YEARS. nvidia supports their graphics for a decade.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414467)

Vs AMD which says "Here's 1000 pages of Spec" you guys can write code to do what ever you want.

I'm not on the whole "BSD License is the Devil, GPL for life!" bandwagon. They're both open source. Nvidia actually provides timely updates and it works. My AMD machine on the other hand

Since when is NVidias driver under the BSD license?

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41415925)

Since when is NVidias driver under the BSD license?

When did I say it was? You notice that it is in a standalone paragraph. I pointed out that I am not an OSS zealot like some people. For example people like Stallman go nuts about everything having to be GPL. I was pointing out that in my case GPS and FreeBSD are both open source.

In this case NVIDIA provides me with a driver that works. I'm happy. I don't care what Linus has to say. NVidia, in my book, is supporting Linux on the desktop and for that I am happy.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

mallan (37663) | about a year and a half ago | (#41417027)

In this case NVIDIA provides me with a driver that works. I'm happy. I don't care what Linus has to say. NVidia, in my book, is supporting Linux on the desktop and for that I am happy.

+1

NVIDIA has been providing stable, fast, feature complete drivers for years and have supported Linux and FreeBSD just as well as they support Windows.

ATI, on the other hand, released specs years ago and the open source drivers are still unstable, slow, and incredibly buggy. The Intel drivers seem a little more stable than ATI, but they're still ridiculously slow and not feature complete.

I develop 3d software on Linux (and OSX, Windows) for a living and I test NVIDIA, ATI, and Intel gfx hardware on a regular basis. The NVIDIA closed source driver is the only linux 3d driver that is acceptable for doing real work. Period. It'd be great if the open alternatives were decent, but they're not.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41422181)

First, it's more like nVidia is the only one that has good drivers with proper OpenGL. Second, whenever you find out that AMD or Intel has cocked up, instead of fixing it, at the very least make the program print out a warning informing the luser that the developer had to spill his blood and sweat because of a crappy vendor or even better - do not fix it and tell them to complain to the driver developer for doing a poor job.
Currently virtually all OpenGL developers silently make workaround and at most complain to someone on IRC or something where the rants are never seen by anyone again.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#41422665)

While you didn't explicitly say it, you implied it because of the implicit assumption that what you write is relevant for the question at hand. The fact that you accept that BSD is open source (which is just accepting a fact, so nothing special) is only relevant to your accepting or non-accepting of NVidia's driver if that driver is under the BSD license. And BTW, Stallmann accepts BSD as free software license. [gnu.org] He just doesn't recommend it.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414521)

They're both open source

Show me the NVidia drivers that were developed mainly by the community with help from NVidia themselves.

(Hint: I'm not holding my breath...can't hold it anywhere near forever...)

However, I *can* show you AMD drivers that meet that criteria...

You keep using that word...I don't think it means what you think it means...

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41415933)

Did I say Nvidia's driver was open source? Jesus you people need to learn reading comprehension.

How about you pick off the statement immediately before that:
"BSD License is the Devil, GPL for life!" bandwagon. They're both open source.

They in this case refers to the BSD License and the GPL. I was stating that I am not a OSS zealot and that I don't care.

Rubbish - Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41419353)

The open source drivers are less well developed precisely becuase the developers did not have the hardware specifications and had they had them, you could pretty much guarantee they would work better than the closed source versions.

BSD is not open in the sense that at anytime the code can be made proprietary. There is no license like the GPL forcing a downstream developer to ensure their code remains open. This ability to re-lockin precludes it from having true openness and any other trolling missdirection is only more of the new slashdot.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41419221)

AMD does not provide sufficient specs/documentation/code for a completely free solution. It is therefore not supported at all in a growing number of distributions. NVIDIA is worse although there is a project to reverse engineer it in order to produce a completely free driver. That exists in spite of NVIDIA's efforts to hush things. This may not be a complete PR student although I suspect it was a business move and probably in reaction to Linus's comments.

Re:Unfriendly? (5, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413745)

How is NVIDIA unfriendly toward open source. They have the only high-end cards that work consistently on both Linux and FreeBSD. They've been maintaining their drivers for open source operating systems for years.

Right. Tell that to my GeForce FX. Or to a GeForce 6xxx. Or to an integrated 7xxx chipset. Neither Nouveau nor the blob work on anything GTK3 and NVIDIA already said they won't be fixing the blob anytime soon. Compare that with AMD - the open driver is already at near performance parity with the blob on their cards from the same period (r300). But AMD isn't a great example. Look at how Intel publishes their drivers and read what the folks from Valve are saying about how easy that makes everything for developers.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413839)

Was it Valve saying it, or Intel employees claiming that Valve folks said it?

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41419539)

http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414085)

Compare that with AMD

OK, I will do that.

I have a subnotebook with R690M/X1250. When I bought it, the ati driver didn't support it because it was too new, and fglrx didn't support it because it's too old, even though it was currently shipping. Today, fglrx still doesn't support it (it hasn't gotten any newer) and the OSS driver produces massive display corruption, actually worse than when it was new.

If you want to cherry-pick examples you can do that all day, but I've had vastly better luck with nVidia hardware than ATI hardware, and I'm not just talking about Linux, but I am including it. I've known ATI was shit since the Mach32, whose Windows 3.1 drivers were pure shit. Free reboot? Why yes, don't mind if I do.

Unfortunately, I do have to admit that nVidia is shitting themselves pretty hard on the drivers lately, I've been getting failed redraws and such. And it sure would be nice to be able to use Xinerama and Composite at the same time, eh?

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414633)

Yes, fglrx is terrible when it comes to support, both for not-so-old cards and for newer Xorg versions. NVIDIA's blob is much better in that case. What I meant is that AMD's superior (though still lacking, IMHO) open-source efforts lead to better support for old cards. Your notebook seems to be a special case. From Wikipedia:

Since Intel has not given the 1333 MHz FSB license to ATI Technologies after the company was purchased by AMD, the Radeon Xpress 1250 only comes with official support of 1066 MHz Front Side Bus (FSB).

Other than that, though, the norm is that old AMD GPUs work well with the open driver, while old NVIDIA GPUs are just plain broken with both the open driver and the blob. And, as I said, AMD is not a particularly good example, it is merely better than NVIDIA on the open front.

And NVIDIA have been screwing up lately in a big way, while fglrx has been getting slightly better (and still by no means accceptable - Kwin and fglrx seem to be promoting a daily orgy on my machine). Seems like the best option we have on Linux is still Intel's underpowered hardware.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41415245)

The 690M is still a pariah chip. I have a buddy with a (basically destroyed now) R690M Turion laptop from like '05(?) and he's been complaining about ATI/AMD's support of that since forever. Basically anything more advanced than 2d console emulators is off the table for him, and the emulators are too slow to scale without hardware acceleration.

Sadly this has also meant we missed doing online gaming for the past... 7 years because he's been busy trying to keep a roof over his head during the shittiest part of the economy.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41416883)

The 690M is still a pariah chip.

Yes, I noticed. Unfortunately for me, and much less unfortunately but still slightly so for AMD, it has utterly eliminated all trust I had in AMD. They abandoned the mobile Athlon 64 without decent Linux power management support, too. You know, like Intel has promised to do with the Cedar Trail chips that Microsoft is using in their tablets. I was suckered in by Geode and dissed with R690M. Obviously AMD is never going to rectify this situation. So clearly, I am never going to trust AMD again. This means I may well never buy another new computer, at least, not an x86-compatible one. And by the same token, if someone asks me what kind of PC to buy, I don't have any advice for them. Intel wants too much money and AMD is untrustworthy.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41417893)

Boo-hoo. Here, take these FULLY OPENED woodblocks on a skewer. They don't need drivers and you can do math-stuff with'em by moving the blocks around.

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41420217)

Boo-hoo. Here, take these FULLY OPENED woodblocks on a skewer. They don't need drivers and you can do math-stuff with'em by moving the blocks around.

Congratulations, you win my coveted first stupid asshole of the morning award. One regularly expects a company which sells processors and chipsets to make drivers available for them, and AMD had gone out of their way to provide excellent linux support for their prior mobile processors, the Geode line, so there was no good reason to believe that they would not provide good support for their Mobile Athlon 64 line, and the associated chipset. When they brought it out it was superior to Atom, but they failed utterly at marketing and nobody knew it existed, then they abandoned it after their failure. This is AMD's failure, not mine.

As an aside, I have a table saw, lathe, miter saw, jig saw, etc etc. I could do something with your blocks of wood. For example, I could throw them at you and hit you in your stupid face.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41414391)

GeForce FX was state of the art when I didn't even have a computer - today it's a dinosaur just like NetBurst P4. Can't remember about FX, but 6xxx and 7xxx are now legacy - they are still support just won't get new and hot driver features and as such from now on releases of the legacy (just an impolite term for LTS) 304.x series driver will mainly cover new X.org and kernel versions or maybe some bug fixing. But those cards will still have a proprietary blob to go with Linux 4.x for... dunno, the recently retired and now EOL driver series were already legacy 5 years ago so I expect something similar for 304.x.

tl;dr your precious GeForce 6xxx-7xxx will be supported better than AMD has ever "supported" theirs till AT LEAST, I dare guestimate, 2017 - just in time for Centos 5 (or was that 6?) being EOLed, too!

Re:Unfriendly? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414657)

GeForce FX was state of the art when I didn't even have a computer - today it's a dinosaur just like NetBurst P4.

GeForce FX was always a piece of crap compared to ATI cards of its era. It's probably Nvidia's most embarassingly bad product, so I'm not surprised they just want to forget about it.

Re:Unfriendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41417697)

> Neither Nouveau nor the blob work on anything GTK3

I can run Gtk3 applications on a ten year old PowerPC iMac. Perhaps you meant GNOME 3 and Unity?

How Open is Open? (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413673)

GPUs can have completely open drivers while remaining quite closed on the hardware side. The one thing they're worried about, their precious shader compilers -- aren't even really needed. Give us an instruction reference to target and we'll make our own damned compiler, and after a while it'll be even better than the proprietary one. It's difficult to believe that it's taking so long to get documentation for something so basic.

Re:How Open is Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413981)

An instruction reference is not enough. Every GPU contains serious hardware bugs, many of which impact shader code generation. Given the rapid changes in GPU hardware and architecture, GPUs are no where near as mature as CPU ISAs.

Re:How Open is Open? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414041)

An instruction reference is not enough. Every GPU contains serious hardware bugs, many of which impact shader code generation.

OK, so you need a reference and an errata.

Given the rapid changes in GPU hardware and architecture, GPUs are no where near as mature as CPU ISAs.

While true, they do at least reuse the same core across a number of different GPUs in at least some cases, so there are not as many targets as there appear to be...

Re:How Open is Open? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414073)

The problem is more likely "patent" rather than copyright.

That's the thing about software patents that is rarely talked about. For all other inventions, you have to show how it works. In the case of software, you "describe" how it works in the most vague way possible. This is completely the opposite purpose of patents which is to, among other things, encourage disclosure of technology rather than keeping it as a secret. In the case of software patents, they are doing both... patenting and keeping the specifics secret.

Hope they also release Bunny acodec docs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41413683)

My car's subwoofer uses a Tegra and Bunny based motherboard, so it'd be good to be able to program it so my car can go "boom" a little louder.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41414259)

N/T (IATOP)

we will see... (2)

higuita (129722) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413757)

we will see if they really do release useful documentation or if this is just smoke and mirrors to try to limit the damage from Linus comments.

I suspect its just a marketing stunt to try to damage control their android clients (that is why they will release info only about the tegra chip), if not they would also announce the release of docs for the other cards (even if small parts, 2D only).

Even for damage control, they took away too long, people that didnt knew/cared about nvidia open source position, learn from on of the top leaders that NVIDIA sucks, and if a leader points to a major problem, everyone looks at it.

Even if this is really a new policy, they still have a long way to help the 3D development and catch up the Intel and AMD.

Not until NVIDIA really supports the Linux and other open source OS with open drivers and documentations i will buy another nvidia card, nor recommend it... even in tablets (ARM have many closed parts, but at least MALI 400 have already a open drive in the forge)

Re:we will see... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413827)

Why should Nvidia have to give a shit about *your* philosophy - that's what I don't understand about this.

Re:we will see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41414089)

Because they want him to buy their product. He's voting with his wallet.

Re:we will see... (1)

mvdwege (243851) | about a year and a half ago | (#41419971)

nVidia does not have to care about anyone's philosophy.

On the other hand, they do want to sell something, so what's wrong with pointing what some of their potential customers want?

Re:we will see... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413905)

we will see if they really do release useful documentation or if this is just smoke and mirrors to try to limit the damage from Linus comments.

Sure, they'll release some documentation. Starting with:

"This page intentionally left blank."

Re:we will see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41417985)

The rest will look like some FOIA requested CIA document release.

REDACTED REDACTED over the REDACTED REDACTED...

Re:we will see... (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41413909)

Nvidia has done plenty of stupid things - and they aren't anywhere near as open source friendly as they should be. However, I can't see why anyone wouldn't at least applaud them taking steps in the right direction. It isn't "Nvidia is all open source! put away the pitchforks and torches", but why assume that this is marketing or damage control?

It's literally in their long-term financial interest to be open with providing actual valid and useful documentation....as it would enable us to fine tune their own shit to work better.

Re:we will see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41415399)

Because they dont DESERVE any applause.

You get applause when you do something well, groundbreaking, or new.

Not when you grudgingly give a useless half-specification out.

Re:we will see... (1)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#41428301)

applaud them taking steps in the right direction

And as usual Linus was right. Just like RMS. I hope they name some constellations after those guys once they are gone like at the time of the greeks.

Screw nVidia (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414245)

I love their hardware, but their drivers suck. I just switched back to Nouveau so I could have a decent framebuffer. Gripes about systemd sucking aside, and the fact that Plymouth just doesn't work for my setup, I'd really like it if nVidia would just start supporting Nouveau full on - if they have to make certain precautions, they could treat bits they provide as firmwares or something to prevent whatever they see as intellectual property from getting "stolen."

Furthermore, why VMWare works with the Gallium3D project, yet doesn't support 3D acceleration under the nouveau drivers on a host is beyond me, but really stupid. I'll be buying ATI next time.

Not sure if it's necessary for nvidia open (1)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414397)

I read articles stating that nvidia open sourced the nv X driver with the installer, config, and settings that works with the proprietary driver so if anything goes wrong that makes a new kernel incompatible with a current nvidia driver the open source community only have to modify the open source that nvidia offers to make the current driver install on the new kernel. But, I never had any issue with nvidia and ati proprietary drivers for the linux compared to the full open source versions which have bugs and glitches. I run some windows games in wine and they run pretty fast with minor graphical glitches.

  Microsoft pays for the ati and nvidia source code and yet kde is still on par or faster than windows 7 aero.
 

Hey Nvidia! (0)

zixxt (1547061) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414501)

Its kinda of telling just how open source hostile and unfriendly Nivida is when they make Microsoft look like an ally.

So in the words of Linus Torvalds "Hey Nvidia, Fuck You!"

"Believe it when I see it". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41414647)

I wish this article was titled "Nvidia might release some unknown stuff" rather than implying Nvidia are going to release ANYTHING interesting....

Where's 'Anonymous'? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41414729)

Why haven't they released the documentation?

Re:Where's 'Anonymous'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41415257)

I've gotten NDA chip docs and they're all watermarked. Removing the watermark and leaking the docs would be too much work for not enough lulz.

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