Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Dec 2006 19:58 UTC, submitted by Michael Larabel
3D News, GL, DirectX "Nouveau is a community project that is working on producing open-source 3D display drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards. Nouveau is not affiliated with Nvidia Corp and is an X.Org project. While this project is still far from being completed, for this holiday special we are sharing some of our first thoughts on this project from our experience thus far. We would like to make it very clear, however, that the Nouveau driver is no where near completed and still has a great deal of work ahead for the 3D component. This article today will also hopefully shed some light on the advancements of this project so far."
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> You're right of course, but they made the mistake of
> specifying a specific quantity. You say yourself you
> can see a limit 50 years out, maybe it's a 100.

No I didn't say that.

> But that really wasn't the main point: the exponential
> _rate_ of change will diminish just as we see Moores
> law starting to taper off in the CPU realm.

But Moore's law only deals with transistor density. The number of processor architectures still grows, and even more so when the transistor density comes to a halt. And it's the number of different architectures that demands for different software to interface with that hardware: drivers.

> Similarly, there is every reason to believe that even
> while video card performance will continue to
> improve, and offer VR etc, the underlying programming
> interaction with the card won't need to change nearly
> as much.

The CPUs are ISA compatible because the market demands so - nobody would buy an incompatible CPU for his computer at home. In contrast, the different graphics cards are already ISA incompatible, and incompatible at register level. Just try a graphics card with a driver that wasn't written for it. Currently, nobody demands that they are compatible, and as long as the vendor distributes the drivers with the hardware, that won't change.

Just note how the whole Nouveau project deals with writing additional drivers for incompatible graphics cards, and *NOT* with making the cards compatible.

> It's a great project with lots of reason to think it
> will ultimately succeed, even if some people think we
> should give up before really getting started.

Correct. But don't delude yourself into thinking that Nvidia will only produce compatible cards in the future, and that the aim of the whole Nouveau project is to write drivers for a few cards and everything will be fine.

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