OLS: Open source graphics drivers
Posted Jul 27, 2006 12:20 UTC (Thu) by dmaas
Parent article: OLS: Open source graphics drivers
Aside from making it easier for competitors to claim patent infringement, I think another reason vendors don't release source code is because they do product differentiation in software.
For example, I am pretty sure that the only difference between NVIDIA's less-expensive "consumer" cards and more-expensive "professional" cards is a single bit somewhere in the ROM that tells their driver whether to enable or disable certain features. If source code were available, it would be easy for people to hack the driver into giving them the equivalent of a "pro" card for a "consumer" price.
I'm not saying this strategy is right or wrong, just that it could be one of the main reasons behind graphics card vendors' refusal to offer driver code.
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