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NVIDIA Open-Sources 3D Driver For Tegra SoCs

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the set-it-free dept.

Open Source 54

An anonymous reader writes "Linux developers are now working on open-source 3D support for NVIDIA's Tegra in cooperation with NVIDIA and months after the company published open-source 2D driver code. There are early patches for the Linux kernel along with a Gallium3D driver. The Tegra Gallium3D driver isn't too far along yet but is enough to run Wayland with Weston."

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Excellent (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365169)

Linus made it happen [youtube.com] !

Re:Excellent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365737)

I herd Linux Thorvalds is gay.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43368407)

I assume you mean Linus Torvalds, in which case, yes, I imagine he is quite happy. He has a good job doing something he wants to do, where his employers can't tell him what to do, and seems to be happily married with children. So I don't see why he wouldn't be gay.

Unfuck! (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366047)

Unfuck you, NVidia!!!

Re:Unfuck! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366365)

There is no unfucking. Belive me, i'm gonna pay for another 15 years...

Very funny guys, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366199)

But NVIDIA didn't write the open source drivers. They made a company sign a bunch of NDAs for the spec and then had them write a crappy knock off driver that doesn't even work well enough to run something simple like Wayland.

Hooboy I bet there are a lot of spinning triangle demos for Tegra. Given the lack of functionality and incomplete OpenGL support can we assume that this "grate" driver is vastly inferior in performance as well as function compared to the still closed source binary-only 3D drivers?

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366423)

Fuck you Linus! Fuck YOU!

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!!11

(yes, i was yelling)

OUYA to benefit? (2)

nclemenson (303429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365197)

Will this benefit OUYA?

Re:OUYA to benefit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365283)

Sure, if Ouya ever sees the light of day.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365373)

Backer units are already shipping. It's a little late to be crapping on it as vaporware.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365465)

Yeah, you let me know when I can walk down to Fry's and pick one up.

Until then, vapourware.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (3, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365561)

You can't pick one up at Fry's, but Target seems confident enough that it isn't vapourware. http://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=ouya&category=0 [target.com] |All|matchallpartial|all+categories&lnk=snav_sbox_ouya

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365743)

Two months. We'll see if it happens.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (5, Informative)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365815)

Yeah, you let me know when I can walk down to Fry's and pick one up.
Until then, vapourware.

By that logic, it will always be vapourware because there isn't a Fry's within walking distance of me. On the other hand, you could look at the reports of the unit shipping to their backers, then see that they have a release date of April for pre-orders & June for the general public. Perhaps then you might realise that the world doesn't revolve around you. A product can be considered released without you personally being able to find one in a particular store.

We are not talking about Sony or Microsoft, with huge manufacturing and distribution capacity. The difference with this console is that you heard about it at the stage where they would normally be talking to venture capitalists. There wasn't some premature announcement designed to stop people from buying competitor's products. There was never a suggestion that this was a product that was ready to ship, it was always spoken about being in the design stage. It does not deserve to have derogatory labels just because you are impatient.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365937)

It's vaporware shit. Already obsolete and nowhere to be seen.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43367379)

Bet you were of those that said AMD wouldn't open source, the OpenPandora handheld was a scam (and already obsolete and nowhere to be seen...), or that Valve wouldn't support Linux until it showed.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366623)

You bought into Idrema and Phantom too I bet.

You're a fucking idiot if you think Ouya has even a small chance of surviving. This thing is dead before it's even hit the gates.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (1)

G-forze (1169271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366709)

Mr. Ballmer? Is that you?

If not OUYA then what? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43367223)

[The Tegra-based OUYA console] is dead before it's even hit the gates.

Then which platform for playing indie games should people be backing instead?

Re:OUYA to benefit? (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year and a half ago | (#43367267)

You bought into Idrema and Phantom too I bet.
You're a fucking idiot if you think Ouya has even a small chance of surviving. This thing is dead before it's even hit the gates.

No, I don't own any console and I have no intention of doing so. However, me saying that the Ouya isn't vapourware is completely unrelated to whether it will survive or not.

And frankly, I don't know why you are taking this so personally?

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43369069)

his religous zealotry is not focused on operating systems like any reasonable puritan but vaporware! goddamn you vaporware, goddamn you!!!
i mean, what atari game didn't materialize?

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43371871)

I still don't see it available anywhere. It's vaporware until that happens.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year and a half ago | (#43373125)

I still don't see it available anywhere. It's vaporware until that happens.

Then you obviously don't understand the meaning of the word, and it seems clear that you have no intention of learning it. Vapourware is not a synonym for the word unreleased.

The Ouya was not announced to dampen sales of another product. It was not announced prematurely (I don't think a year is excessive for developing a product like this). It is in the process of being released now, whether you can see it or not.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376997)

Engadget reported issues with controller buttons becoming stuck beneath the controller plating and the right analog stick snagging on the plating. It also reported a slight lag between the controller and the console and went on to say the controller was "usable, but it's far from great."

The Verge reported similar issues with the controller and said the construction quality gave it a "cheap, breakable feel." While it also praised the hacking and openness of the console, calling it "a device with lots of potential and few true limitations", the review was mostly negative and was critical of the interface and game launch choice and stated that "Ouya isn't a viable gaming platform, or a good console, or even a nice TV interface."

So even after all of the delays, it's a pile of crap.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365331)

I'm pretty sure NVidia already support Android with their existing drivers....

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365381)

Yes, but they haven't supported Linux. With open source drivers, full Linux distros can finally have 3d acceleration (and hopefully video acceleration, too).

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365439)

Android uses Linux with it's own userland.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365579)

The GPU drivers for android are not Linux compatible.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365639)

Well, they're not glibc compatible. You can use them with Xorg and a standard GNU userspace via a wrapper like libhybris, which was developed for Mer [merproject.org] and is being used by Ubuntu Mobile.

Re:OUYA to benefit? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365797)

But not X.

Full 3D accelleartion on Linux with Tegra (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366245)

It's been possible for *years* now. You just use their L4T/Linux-for-Tegra/Vibrante product. It comes with ordinary glibc, a sort of hacked up mini distro based on Ubuntu tweaked to load their modified kernel and userspace. You have to use EGL instead of GLX, but otherwise everything works. If you're building embedded apps on Tegra things like Clutter work with EGL now. So very pretty custom user interfaces are possible and fully accelerated.

Looks like they(nvidia) has some support for OpenKODE as well on Linux for Tegra.

NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366219)

Hacking benefits maybe. But running a partially implemented and slower open source driver isn't going to attract too many additional customers to OUYA.

AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (3, Interesting)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43365571)

So phoronix had the news yesterday about an open-source wrapper to AMD's concession to open-source "AMD Releases UVD Engine Source Code" for the kernel-level wrapper code, and today, NVidia open sources the 3-d driver for Tegra. That's progress. I use the Nvidia binary blob on my debian distro hardware, and the Nvidia blob with the knoppix live-boot system, as Nouveau does not work well enough on my hardware. I hope this will help Nouveau a lot.

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366025)

This is open sourced for the Tegra ARM chips found in tablets and phones, won't really help your desktop hardware

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (3, Interesting)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366155)

How is a driver for Tegra (not even a unified shader architecture, something similar to Riva TNT2) going to help your desktop driver?

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (2)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366311)

oopsie. Sorry, I misread the Tegra SoC "system on a chip" thing and my brain interpreted it as GPU stream processing. But hey, more opensourcing of video drivers is good in general.

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43368403)

lolwut? The TNT2 was a DX6.0 card with no shader support at all.

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43371929)

That depends on what type of shaders you are talking about. Pixel shaders aren't the only kind.

And it's true, none of the Tegra GPUs use unified shaders. That won't be coming until Tegra 5.

Re: AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43387143)

Dude, TNT2 didn't even have hardware TNL. There were no shader support whatsoever on it.

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43380499)

Well it sets a precedent, if the Tegra 5 is opensource in 18 months, it would certainly help with today's top of the range Kepler's.
It is also wrong to compare Tegras to TNT2's; GeForce 7s maybe; but they are closer to Kepler then TNT 2s.

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366813)

Yeah, makes me want to love bomb both of them. Only thing I can say is, when the new game is outdoing each other in openness, everybody is a winner. Better Linux support means more computer parts sold, end of story. It's not a zero sum game.

Re:AMD news yesterday, NVidia today, that's great! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43390267)

Open-source drivers for a mainstream mobile GPU is ground-breakingly good stuff, Nvidia's won some karma points in my book. This big difference this makes it that this could make it possible to run a fully FLOSS OS on a mobile device, usually the problem preventing this is that the drivers are closed-source - even the N900 has this problem.

M$ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365651)

If you hold M$ stocks, sell it immediately

It's April FIFTH, not FIRST (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43365825)

April Fool's Day was MONDAY, you morons! And this one isn't even that good! Nvidia? Open sourcing their 3D hardware? Come ON, who do you expect to fool with THAT?

Not open source, but open documentation (5, Informative)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366133)

What NVidia did was document a very small and specific part of the chipset. They previously opened documentation of 2D accelleration, now the 3D part. The part that accelerates media playback is still closed. Given the fact that this is a SoC that will most likely be used for media playback just as much as for gaming and it's not their own driver code they have released, I'd not consider this open sourcing. They are merely releasing part of the specifications so third parties can develop drivers. Yes, they are actively helping one company, but there is no actual working code available as open source yet. Not from the 3rd party company, nor from NVidia themselves.

Re:Not open source, but open documentation (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366823)

Hmm, could it be that AMD knew NVidia would announce this driver and slipped in the video announcement just ahead of it? As it stands, AMD still looks like the leader.

Re:Not open source, but open documentation (4, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | about a year and a half ago | (#43367255)

If you want a full open source driver stack, then AMD is THE way to go. I know there's some effort to reverse engineer the NVIDIA closed drivers that's making progress, but there's actually paid AMD employees developing open drivers based on the opened specs for their platform. That's the good news.

Here's the bad news. The progress on the AMD open drivers is sloooooooooow because the number of paid employees working on the drivers is very few and the number of volunteers is very few too.

The silver lining is that as features get implemented, they move forward to new generations pretty nicely with the new Southern Island chipsets being an exception. The state of THOSE open drivers is an absolute mess considering devices with that chipset have been shipping for quite a while. Allegedly, that chipset will be the basis for new cards for a while, so as the support improves for the Southern Islands, new cards should benefit immediately.

Re:Not open source, but open documentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43369789)

If you want a full open source driver stack then INTEL is the way to go.

Re:Not open source, but open documentation (1)

div_2n (525075) | about a year and a half ago | (#43383781)

If you want something resembling modern performance, then no, you don't. Intel's chipset is at least 4 years behind AMD and NVIDIA in terms of performance. Maybe 5 or 6 years.

Re:Not open source, but open documentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43368249)

We have open source userland code for 3D, but in very early stages, and not in the form of a driver. So you are partially right. And NVIDIA was not involved in the 3D userland bits.

Wayland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43366357)

The Tegra Gallium3D driver isn't too far along yet but is enough to run Wayland with Weston.

So, completely useless...

Re:Wayland? (1)

andy.ruddock (821066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43366523)

, but not without any actual output.

what does that even mean?

This is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43368133)

The driver the article refers to is NOT developed by NVIDIA, it's reverse-engineered. And it's also in very early development, so it's not very news-worthy yet.

Whenever a company falters in the market... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43370121)

they magically discover the advantages of becoming more customer and developer friendly- well at least until their fortunes reverse.

Nvidia is barely managing to keep their ARM project alive. The first Tegras were bombs. Tegra2 was late, had to be heavily discounted, and couldn't decode H264 HD content. Tegra3 was late, expensive, and is no more powerful than the better parts from the Chinese competition of Rockchip and Allwinner. Tegra4 is so late and expensive, it has possibly no current design wins, and will not appear in this year's refresh of Google's massively successful tablet.

Nvidia struggles to have first quality GPU performance (it is currently slaughtered by Qualcomm's Adreno- and old ATI mobile design- and the best PowerVR options). Nvidia struggle to have decent low power operation. Nvidia struggles to get its parts on the latest process nodes. Nvidia struggles to have a family that contains even one current SoC, although it is promising for the first time to have two parts in its current line-up by years end.

Nvidia needs friends, and badly. The GPU (up to and including the Tegra 4) is now officially obsolete (Tegra 5 gets a PC class GPU) so Nvidia can 'generously' reveal its inner working to those that wish to create open-source driver alternatives to the usual proprietary 'binary-blob' drivers.

It should be noted that open-source drivers always run like crap- buggy and with a fraction of the performance of the binary blob ones. A modern GPU system is an horrifically complicated state-machine. If open-source bods were not driven by zealots, they would demand access to a hyper-thin, 'to the metal' 'binary blob' driver that would provide the most primitive and direct API for accessing the GPU hardware and video/image processing functions. Wanting to write code that directly talks to the hardware is just plain daft. Nvidia understand their hardware in ways no sets of documentation can ever compensate for. What developers need is that thin universal driver that works on all Tegra platforms.

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