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Open Source Graphics

NVIDIA Open-Sources Tegra K1 Graphics Support 66

An anonymous reader writes "NVIDIA's next-generation Tegra K1 ARM processor now has open-source support for its Kepler-based graphics. NVIDIA decided to submit a large queue of patches to the open-source, reverse-engineered Nouveau project for supporting their ARM Kepler graphics with the open-source driver. The patches are still experimental but this is the first time NVIDIA has contributed open-source code to Nouveau."
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NVIDIA Open-Sources Tegra K1 Graphics Support

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 01, 2014 @09:27PM (#46131415)

    Tegra has been a horrid disappointment for Nvidia till now, and the competition in the ultra-mobile SoC market is ramping up at a terrifying rate.

    -Tegra 1. The equivalent of Microsoft's Windows 1,2. If it ever existed, no-one noticed.
    -Tegra 2. Horribly late, missing NEON, and missing hardware acceleration for H264 video decode. Used in devices only because Nvidia was forced to give it away.
    -Tegra 3. First ARM SoC part from Nvidia worth using. Late, but good enough to get still get some major contracts as a highish end part.
    -Tegra 4. Pretty much an unmitigated disaster. Late and expensive enough to lose the small progress Tegra 3 had made. Wrongly specced, so Nvidia had to announce the 4i.

    -Tegra 5, renamed the K1. Built on the wrong process (not really Nvidia's fault- TSMC and others have failed to make the shrink progress expected years ago when this part was first planned). Using the wrong ARM core (A15), so Nvidia had to announce a later version of the K1 that will come with Nvidia's own 64-bit ARM core. Of course, this means the first K1 is already obsolete, long before it is on sale. First Tegra with PC class GPU cores, but not the NEW Maxwell GPU architecture Nvidia launches on the desktop in a few weeks time (750TI). So, the GPU is also out of date before the K1 goes on sale.

    The Tegra 5/K1 has a lot of graphic clout for an ARM SoC, BUT cannot use that power in a phone/normal tablet form factor. Therefore, Qualcomm and Apple will best the K1 in performance per Watt, once again.

    So, Nvidia has zero (ZERO!!!!!) to lose by throwing out all the tech details of the K1 into the public arena. Intel pulls the same stunt with its laughably poor integrated GPUs on its current CPU chips. If you can't compete, make your documentation open-source in the hope this will boot-strap some extra business.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @10:27PM (#46131611) Homepage Journal

    So you are stuck with Intel with their FOSS drivers but terrible GPUs. AMD also was all proprietary and their FOSS drivers are not as feature rich as the closed source. So you are made about them not supporting FOSS in the past... But they are doing it now and you are still mad.... Seems counter productive to keep complaining after a company goes FOSS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 01, 2014 @10:37PM (#46131649)

    Stop spouting this rubbish. Intel's pretty decent performance wise these days and NVIDIA's drivers have always sucked no matter how much better the performance was.

    NVIDIA's graphics drivers don't' f'ing work without head pounding. I shouldn't have to f around with the terminal for hours to install a proprietary driver that only half works on a select set of distributions.

    The days where Intel's graphics sucked are long over. It's not the 1990s. Intel's graphics are pretty good. Intel's 3rd generation graphics were decent. Almost comparable at the low end with NVIDIA. The newer 4th generation stuff is pretty impressive although unfortunately Iris Pro has been restricted to integrated CPUs and thus no socketed CPUs have it. As a result motherboard manufacturers have chosen to opt out in protest. Nobody ships an Intel Iris Pro mini itx motherboard. In fact there are very few Iris Pro systems. I have one of the very few that exist in fact. It's an ultrabook-like form factor 14” screen.

    AMD's drivers still suck and they are still non-free despite the public relations stunt to “open” them.

    While I hope this actually helps improve the free drivers for NVIDIA's graphics chips I'm doubtful. I'm not that familiar with these chips although I'm pretty sure they are targeted at and only available in cellular devices and similar. It won't help the desktop users.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @07:22AM (#46133091) Journal

    The nVidia drivers on FreeBSD are pretty solid, but they got a poor reputation for their open source drivers in the early releases. I was running a room full of Linux boxes about 10 years ago, and they'd all kernel panic about once a day, typically while running nothing more strenuous graphically than the log-in screen, and always with a backtrace in the nVidia drivers. The open source ATi drivers of the same era (R200) were a lot slower, but were very stable.

    nVidia also had that embarrassing incident where a crafted image could cause arbitrary code execution in the kernel, which turned out to be exploitable by just putting a picture on a web page, and didn't fix it until about two years after they were first notified of it. For the last 4-5 years, their proprietary drivers have been pretty reasonable though.

  • by slacka ( 713188 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @07:56AM (#46133149)

    it is decisively beaten by pretty much every graphics card over $100. You can't game at 1080p or use MadVR with maximum settings on Iris Pro.

    To be competitive on the desktop, Intel needs something about as powerful as a Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. As of now they aren't even close.

    I built my desktop with a 3.4GHz Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge. Anyone telling you the HD Graphics 4000 is "good enough" for gaming is full of shit. Even my low rez 1200x1080 monitor, most games struggled to get 30 FPS at anything about the lowest detail level. When I got into Dota 2, that was the final straw. I caved in and bought a Radeon HD 7850 for $150. The difference is night and day. Integrated graphics are still garbage, worthless for anything beyond angry birds.

    I dual boot to Linux and have a decent steam library. The only thing I'll give Intel, is that they do make decent open source drivers that perform nearly as well in Linux as Windows. The AMD open source drivers are terrible for gaming. They get 30-80% of the proprietary drivers FPS and have major issues with micro stuttering. And yes, I use the dev drivers from the edgy PPA along with all the tweaks like SB backend. They still suck.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling