ATI has released the 8.29.6 version of its proprietary Linux drivers, with the announcement that the 9000, 9100, and 9200 IGP and Mobility Radeon chipsets are no longer supported by the new version. Radeon 8500, 9000, 9100, 9200, and 9250 devices are also dropped from support. Thankfully, these models are supported in 2D/3D mode by the open source DRI driver.
Phoronix has published an article covering a majority of the changes that will be making their way into NVIDIA's next Linux display drivers: the 1.0-9XXX series. Of the changes to come is Quad SLI, improved nvidia-xsettings, GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, OpenGL 2.1, GLSL 1.2, and other fixes. No release date is reported.
LXer has an interview with project lead and creator of the Open Graphics Project, Timothy Miller. "I'm not sure exactly how large that market is, but we seem to be creating a movement. Individuals and businesses interested in open hardware are coming to me all the time, asking about it."
DirectX10 is not just another version of DirectX. This version has been re-built from the ground up to change the way applications think about material management and load balancing between the CPU and GPU. D3D10, as also DirectX10 is called, takes advantage of the improved communication between the CPU and GPU and efficiently manages the data transfer between them. Screenshots included.
"DirectX 10 is likely to see a number of point revisions during its lifespan and the first of these, imaginatively titled DirectX 10.1, will be the first of these. It may surprise some of you reading this, but the features which will be added by DirectX 10.1 have already been decided upon and information made available about them, so in this article we'll be taking a look through what we can expect to see in DirectX 10.1 compliant hardware."
Statement by ATI: "For other markets, such as workstation and consumer, performance and feature differentiation are key metrics. Proprietary, patented optimizations are part of the value we provide to our customers and we have no plans to release these drivers to open source. In addition, multimedia elements such as content protection must not, by their very nature, be allowed to go open source."
A never-shipped 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 AGP graphics card has popped up on eBay to tempt fans of historical GPUs. Speaking of fans, this boy has four of 'em, one each for the four VSA-100 graphics chips the board sports - along with 128MB of frame-buffer memory. The full-length card requires a 3.3V AGP slot should the successful bidder care to try the thing out. It also requires a power feed from the host system's PSU. Later incarnations of the card were bundled with their own, external power supply brick. The GPUs are clocked to 166MHz.
"One project that I've been following quite closely lately is a project started by chip-designer Timothy Miller, called the Open Graphics Project. His goal, along with the rest of the project, known as the Open Graphics Foundation, is to make a 3D accelerated video card which is fully documented, free-licensed, and open source." We have already covered the OGP a few times, but this article gives a nice overview of the project.
Will Backman speaks with Andy Ritger and Christian Zander from NVIDIA about the NVIDIA FreeBSD graphics driver. The interview gives an overview of the drivers current features, plans for future improvements, and a brief discussion about licensing and NVIDIA's open source efforts. Thanks to the FreeBSD guys themselves for this summary.
"When DirectX 10 rocks your PC with the release of Windows Vista early next year, it will come courtesy of a trio of forces: The graphics card companies obviously play a huge role, as do the game developers, but DirectX is Microsoft's baby. Ultimately it is up to Microsoft engineers to work together with IHVs and game developers to define the API. We managed to sneak some time into the busy schedules of two key Microsofties to find out what makes DX10 tick, and why they think you're going to want to migrate to a DX10-capable computer for the best experience the PC has to offer."
At the end of February 2006, the Open Graphics Project team released schematics for their development board, OGD1. An article on KernelTrap was written about this, explaining the release under GPL and the nature of PCB schematics (logical connections between chips) and artwork (physical component placement and circuit trace routing). Just last Friday, was announced the first draft of the artwork. For the most indepth information, check out the OGD1 page on the OGP Wiki, which links to PDFs for each of the routing layers and a composite image of all of the layers.
Computer-generated animation in film and television, as well as state-of-the-art video games, features realistic water, fire, and other natural effects. Many people new to computer graphics are astounded to learn that these realistic and complex models are simple triangles and pixels as far as computer graphics hardware is concerned. In this chapter, OpenGL Distilled covers the OpenGL primitive types and how to control their appearance with several basic rendering features.
"We have been overwhelmed with requests to take a serious look at the frame-rate performance differences between the various open-source and proprietary contenders. Our first article on this topic, which will likely be the first of a series of examinations, is looking at the differences between the X.Org open-source ATI Radeon driver and that of ATI's official but proprietary fglrx display driver."
El Reg has one of the first reviews of Ageia PyshX accelerator chip. The four-page review concludes: "The limited number of titles and their disappointing use of the PhysX PPU means that, currently, there's no reason to spend the GBP 200+ to acquire a PhysX card. The current effects in the supported games aren't worth the price and potential performance drop. Cell Factor and awesome Unreal Engine 3.0 games, where art thou? Without them, the PhysX hardware is merely a curiosity. But one to watch."
For the first time this year, NVIDIA has officially published new Linux and Solaris display drivers for their GeForce and Quadro products. These drivers, versioned 1.0-8756, bring a couple new features such as GeForce 7600/7900 support as well as a new nvidia-auto-select program. This does mark their first alternative OS official release in nearly four months. No FreeBSD equivalent of these 1.0-8756 drivers are currently available. Phoronix takes a look at these new drivers.
Asus will begin shipping a dedicated physics processing board based on Ageia's PhysX PPU in May, the company said today. The card contains 256MB of memory dedicated to environment calculations designed to make virtual worlds feel more real to game players. Ageia announced PhysX last week. It claims that 60 developers - including UbiSoft, Cryptic Studios, NCSoft, Epic Games and Sega - are working on 100 games with support for the company's physics calculation API.
Phoronix takes a look at nVIDIA's SLI and nVIDIA's efforts to support alternative operating systems, such as Linux, BSD, and Solaris, and how HP fits into all that. "While this NVIDIA SLI support can still be considered very much rudimentary compared against the Microsoft Windows support with the ForceWare drivers, which were introduced back on November 9 of 2004, there is no clear sight for how it will ultimately fair in the world of Linux. According to some information we have obtained from our sources and research, NVIDIA's motives for Linux SLI may largely dissent from the public opinion. In this article today, there are a few comments we would like to share about the big green manufacturer and their outlook on alternative operating systems."
"3D acceleration is a long established standard part of today’s systems yet it started life as an exotic, expensive add on. Last year Ageia announced a new kind of add on, their PhysX chip is a new technology specifically designed for accelerating physics processing in games. Why should a physics chip interest gamers? What does it do? How does it work?"
In this example, Randi J. Rost applies a brick pattern to an object. The brick pattern is calculated entirely within a fragment shader. This example consists of three essential components: the source code for the vertex shader, the source code for the fragment shader, and the application code that initializes and uses these shaders. It focuses on the vertex and fragment shaders.
The Open Graphics Project is dedicated to producing open-architecture graphics hardware that is friendly to free and open source operating systems like Linux and BSD. Yesterday morning, they released schematics for OGD1 for public review and critique. OGD1 is an FPGA-based development and prototyping platform that they decided to turn into a commercial product to raise funds. Check out an article on KernelTrap. The release of these schematics was accompanied by a discussion about how to price the OGD1 to maximize fund-raising while keeping it accessible to hobbyists; KernelTrap has another article about that as well.