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Programming

+ - What is preventing FLOSS Nvidia 3D Drivers? 1

Submitted by Slithe
Slithe writes: What information is Nvidia not providing that would allow one to write FLOSS drivers for Nvidia cards? I am not an expert on this topic, so this is why I am asking Slashdot. A modern graphics card is basically a piece of hardware that can do matrix and vector operations very quickly, and modern graphics cards are programmable with shaders. I know that Nvidia graphics cards use the GPU assembly language, whose instructions are available and form the basis of writing shaders. I also know that X.Org has an open-source Nvidia driver for basic (i.e. not 2d or 3d accelerated) operation of the graphics card. Could someone take the Mesa OpenGL library and write a shader or set of shaders for every OpenGL function that the card should accelerate? What am I not seeing that would allow this to work?
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What is preventing FLOSS Nvidia 3D Drivers?

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  • How would you get a shader to run on a graphics card to begin with? An interesting note that may make the question more interesting for you is that the assembly language that you mentioned is not actually a native language to the GPU, and is compiled to the card's actual ISA by the driver.

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