Could Nvidia be in violation of patents/licenses themselves?

Story: Nvidia says no to free drivers, I say no to NvidiaTotal Replies: 10
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Jun 27, 2008
10:25 AM EDT
That might explain a few things as well if that were the case.........

At least they are not interfering with efforts to reverse engineer specifications for FOSS drivers.

Jun 27, 2008
3:39 PM EDT
Not interfering, but as far as I know not helping either, and I've read somewhere that they've successfully stopped a previous effort on making a free driver (by RE). Don't quote me on that though.

That said, your guess about violations is as good as any. Bottom line is we can't know what they're hiding under that "intellectual property" they wish to "protect", even when we buy their cards.

So we might as well not buy them then. AMD is good enough.


Jun 27, 2008
3:53 PM EDT
Ya know....I wonder how much progress in video acceleration has really been made? Back in the olden days, oh I don't know, 1999 or so, I had an 8-megabyte Trident-based PCI 3D video card that was well-supported with OSS drivers. As I recall it took some manual tweaks in xorg.conf to enable hardware acceleration, something to do with DRI and other weird crap I still don't bother to understand. With that card I could play Tux Racer, Quake II, and a bunch of other gory first-person shooters I forget now. There were many different video chipsets to choose from, and a lot of them had good native Linux support.

Fast-forward to now. Modern video cards have bypassed the AGP bus and now use PCI-e or something even more exotic. They are more powerful than my PC in 1999, with mondo GPUs, 512 megs ram, and their own cooling fans. Nvidia is pretty much it for both linux and windoze. The Linux drivers have fewer features than their windows cousins and are big fat pains to install and maintain. ATI are poo on all platforms, though hopefully that is changing.

Other than those two, what else is there? Intel's graphics thingies are still babies. I don't even remember all the other brands from the olden days. Seems like we ought to have super-duper video for cheap and for everyone.

Jun 27, 2008
5:39 PM EDT
> AMD is good enough.

Not yet. But they'll get there rapidly. And when they do pretty much every Linux user will move to them. As a complete guess, I'd estimate the linux market at somewhere between 5-10% of NVidia's sales. That might not be enough to change their minds, but it's got to hurt.

> Other than those two, what else is there?

The big three are NVidia, ATI, and Intel. Via is a far distant fourth and (like Intel) seems to do only onboard video. As far as I know, that's pretty much it.

A quick check reveals that the only other manufacturer besides NVidia and ATI listed under Desktop Graphics/Video Cards on New Egg is AGEIA. I've never heard of them, so it looks like I have some research to do.

Jun 27, 2008
8:03 PM EDT
OK AGEIA is not a video card as such. It's a video effects processor, used in conjunction with a video card to enhance the realism of the video. As such, it's not in the same market as ATI and NVidia. It's was also apparently purchased by NVidia earlier this year.

So, the big two in desktop graphics cards are ATI and NVidia, with Intel and Via also being players in the onboard graphics market.


Matrox appears to still be in the market, but they're only listed under the Workstation Graphics heading, not Desktop Graphics.

Jun 28, 2008
5:10 PM EDT
If somebody could ask Matrox if they could come back to the FOSS market....

Jun 29, 2008
8:42 AM EDT
@Nixed: Been there...done that. Their response was a fairly polite


Go ATI! I will divorce the binary blob that is Nvidia in half a heart beat when they make this happen. And just Oh By The Way...

What the hell happened to this Open Source Video Card that was being developed (seems to me I remember some corporation took over the sponsorship so as the lack of funding wouldn't be an issue)?


Jun 29, 2008
10:58 AM EDT
> What the hell happened to this Open Source Video Card that was being developed...

I think it's current status can be found here:

Jun 29, 2008
3:46 PM EDT
Quoting:@Nixed: Been there...done that. Their response was a fairly polite


I wonder what would happen if more people politely insisted.........

Jun 29, 2008
6:08 PM EDT

Jun 29, 2008
6:46 PM EDT

Go **** up a rope.

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