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Newsforge: Linux hardware support, part II

“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.”

Complete
Story