Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Nov 2007 21:31 UTC, submitted by null_pointer_us
3D News, GL, DirectX "Today, with the coming introduction of the NVIDIA 780i chipset, NVIDIA is looking to make serious changes to what is possible with enthusiast systems by launching a new technology platform. The name of the new standard is ESA - Enthusiast System Architecture. Its goal is to provide information and control to enthusiasts not just for NVIDIA motherboards and video cards, but to provide that information and control for many other components in an ESA-enabled system. The actual protocol is OS independent. This is very important for the future of ESA, as it will eventually allow ESA to operate with any platform."
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Proof is in the pudding
by tyrione on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:09 UTC
Member since:

What does the Linux Kernel Team foresee, OpenBSD team, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, etc., all foresee as possibilities?

How does nVidia plan to work with AMD, with Intel, with Apple, etc?

To me it seems the greatest amount of work, outside of their own Windows platform, will be within the FOSS Community.

I see the standard hardware vendors listed, but none of the people who actually have an operating system to access these features, outside of the Windows platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Proof is in the pudding
by null_pointer_us on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:02 in reply to "Proof is in the pudding"
null_pointer_us Member since:

I am not sure you understand what this is.

ESA is a standard that is being submitted to the USB HID group for formalization as a USB device spec. This is analogous to the spec. for USB drives, sound devices, mice, keyboards, etc. where (in theory) you just plug in one of those devices with a standardized spec. and then use a generic driver on any USB-capable platform. For example, my USB headphones do not require a special Linux driver; the headphones implement the USB audio spec, which the Linux kernel supports, so they just work.

The idea with the ESA standard is that you will plug your fans, PSU, front panel displays, etc. into USB ports, and an ESA-capable program will expose the functionality of those devices through a generic USB-ESA driver.

My understanding, therefore, is that nVidia does not "need" to work with device manufacturers any more than the Firefox team needs to work with extension drivers -- i.e. anyone can write an extension -- although the standard itself could, of course, be improved over time with manufacturer feedback.

Adding ESA support to an OS like Linux would be very straightforward. One person would write a usb-esa kernel module, and some other people will end up writing GTK or whatever applications to expose the generic interface of ESA-capable hardware devices.

I believe ESA would be wonderful if many device manufacturers support it. The current enthusiast "smart fan", case front panel, and temperature probe interfaces are all very proprietary and poorly documented, so it is difficult to buy a case, motherboard, and fans that will work together with all their advertised cooling-related features enabled.

But yes, I am cynical about this...

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Proof is in the pudding
by tyrione on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:57 in reply to "RE: Proof is in the pudding"
tyrione Member since:

I asked what was the kernel teams stances on adding another level of complexity that will require the component parts to be redesigned to communicate over USB which then will require motherboard manufacturers to redesign this as well.

This sounds great for system design testing.

Sounds overkill and cumbersome to build oversized cases to accommodate cooling systems for the sake of joe sandbox who wants to customize every little setting until they screw it up.

If nVidia wants this to take off I'd suggest they produce some motherboards, power supplies, cooling systems in the idea of cases they want and show how this would work.

Otherwise, it wreaks that nVidia is worried that Intel and AMD with their inroads into graphics scares the piss out of them.

Reply Parent Score: 2