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Newsforge: Linux hardware support, part II

Sep 19, 2000, 20:12 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Field)

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"Last week, I discussed how 3DFX had only partially functional drivers for their Voodoo5 boards. The drivers only run one CPU and do not support FSAA, a key feature of this new board. This essentially limits the board to Voodoo3 levels of performance, not something people who just shelled out $300 are eager to find. However, this isn't an attempt by 3DFX to rip off Linux users, but rather it is a result of a lack of devotion to Linux...."

"There are several reasons for this problem. First, Linux market share isn't at the level it needs to be for companies to be able to devote equal time to development of drivers for it. That costs money, and that's the first order of business at most companies, making a profit."

"What many companies don't seem to realize is that when they are licensing DDKs (driver development kits) from Microsoft, on which they build their Windows drivers, they are paying for the development of the graphics/driver infrastructure which they are using. VA's multimedia and graphics division is also working on such an infrastructure, except without as much funding as Microsoft. This common codebase for Linux drivers would allow cheaper, faster and better Linux drivers, as it would be funded by the various graphics companies, and would have that many more people to work on it."

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