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Posted Dec 16, 2009 6:36 UTC (Wed) by eru (subscriber, #2753)
In reply to: The abrupt merging of Nouveau by elanthis
Parent article: The abrupt merging of Nouveau

NVIDIA giving up their driver tech will literally level the playing field. [...]

Would it really? Drivers are by definition hardware-dependent. ATI hardware would be sufficiently different from NVIDIA hardware that little of the NVIDIA driver code would be useful there, and porting attempts could probably produce buggy and inefficient code.

One thing I find interesting is this situation sets up almost a controlled test of open source vs proprietary development: Assuming ATI and Intel have provided full hardware info (and continue to do so for new hardware in the future), the supposed superiority of the open process should eventually produce superior Linux drivers for them.

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Posted Dec 16, 2009 6:55 UTC (Wed) by quotemstr (subscriber, #45331) [Link]

Graphics drivers are far from hardware-dependent these days. Sure, they have their device-specific parts.

But drivers need to expose OpenGL and DirectX interfaces to applications, but GPUs are simply highly parallel processors capable of generic computation. The portion of the driver that implements these APIs in terms of the generic facilities all GPUs provide is almost certainly useful across disparate hardware.

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