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Re: Nvidia drivers



On Sat, 1 Jan 2000, David Konerding wrote:

> Well, the Wildcat 5110 is a different card all together from the FireGL 2.  It is an
> OEM-only, and SGI will be including one in a PC machine.  I believe they support both
> Linux and Win2k, it will be interesting to see if they ship a Linux machine that supports
>
> the Wildcat.  SGI, of course, ships their machines with Red Hat, but  "tuned" to take
> card of the
> hardware.

Those boxes look cool. Wonder if SGI has Open Sourced all the hardware and
drivers though ;-)


> I doubt he got "all" the specs.  I'm guessing he got enough specs to write a 2D driver
> and a 3D driver, but I'm sure he didn't get the actually microcode programming language
> specs.  Last I heard, the microcode specs were not released to the public.  You have
> recognize that there are "levels" of specs, from the software layer to
> the hardware layer.  Typically a company would never release *all* their specs, such as
> the low-level
> hardware specs, because that would be effectively handing cloners the blueprints.  At the
> very worst, 2D driver writers need enough information on how to use the card as a
> standard VGA, or a dumb framebuffer.  Better yet is 2D acceleration.  Basic 3D on top of
> 2D acceleration was what we've had for some time-- the PC CPU is still doing much of the
> 3D pipeline.  The holy grail, is knowing the right information so you can take opengl
> calls directly,
> and pushing it into the hardwith with a minimum of PC CPU manipulation ("opengl on a
> chip").  There is still
> some setup to be done between the OpenGL layer and the 3D chip hardware, but very little
> actual work has to be done- mostly formatting command/data buffers for DMAs and then
> returning as quickly as possible.  There is typically a one-to-one mapping between OpenGL
> function and hardware command.

Oh sure, I was only ribbing Mike who adamantly claimed that ATi and Matrox
had handed it all over to him. Even though Open Source is desirable from a
user's perspective, it might not be commercially prudent to give out trade
secrets.

Thanks very much for the explanation, btw. I often wondered why Windows
has (in general) faster video than Linux. Now I know.



-- 
Regards,


Juha

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