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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
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(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
Updates from Linaro
Posted May 26, 2011 18:46 UTC (Thu) by kiko (subscriber, #69905)
What sort of argument should we present them, and are there other things we could do to improve the GPU situation on ARM?
Note that David Airlie and I ran a session on this at Southern Plumbers; there's a video of it at http://blip.tv/linuxconfau/embedded-gpus-for-arm-open-dis...
Posted May 27, 2011 12:21 UTC (Fri) by mjr (guest, #6979)
Posted Jun 7, 2011 7:19 UTC (Tue) by alison (✭ supporter ✭, #63752)
I wonder how releasing the drivers would affect the GPU designers' business. On the one hand, they can monopolize the support and tools business around their closed products. On the other hand, the closed driver model may limit adoption of their products and will prevent community contribution of patches and other valuable ideas.
I read somewhere that Nvidia was actively collaborating with the developers of the Nouveau open-source drivers for their products. And not too long ago, Broadcom joined the Linux Foundation. TI is all in on open-source, so they may be pressuring Imagination Technologies about their drivers. So I think there's a glimmer of hope on the GPU front if no good news just yet.
Posted May 26, 2011 23:06 UTC (Thu) by wookey (subscriber, #5501)
Some people are scared about patents and loss of 'IP' control. Some believe their software is better than everyone else's so they don't want people copying it (failing to understand the difference between driver code and instruction set specs there). Several don't believe that outsiders could write drivers that were any good.
Posted May 27, 2011 1:29 UTC (Fri) by aryonoco (subscriber, #55563)
As for patents, you could point out that whether their product has open source drivers or not has no bearing on whether it's infringing any patents. They can keep their drivers as close as they want and still be hit with patent lawsuits.
In the desktop and server space, there are many huge open source programs these days, programs that are essential in the enterprise market, and none of them have been hit with patent lawsuits any more than proprietary software of similar nature has been. I fail to understand the logic that assumes opening up code suddenly makes one more vulnerable to patent lawsuits.
Posted May 27, 2011 11:00 UTC (Fri) by stevem (subscriber, #1512)
The GPU area is a total mess because of the patent bollocks: as always, the only people benefiting are the lawyers.
Posted May 27, 2011 11:53 UTC (Fri) by wookey (subscriber, #5501)
Of course whilst we'd like open drivers we're not actually asking for them to hand over the source - just some specs so we can write our own. I think the fear there is that writing down enough detail to program the device also shows fairly clearly which patents might be being infringed. I have no idea of the truth or otherwise of that as my expertise in not in GPUs and their architecture/instruction sets.
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