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Intel Open Source Programming Hardware Linux

Intel Releases Ivy Bridge Programming Docs Under CC License 113

Posted by timothy
from the buncha-commies dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Ivy Bridge graphics processor from Intel is now fully documented under the Creative Commons. Intel released four volumes of documents (2400+ pages) covering their latest graphics core as a complete programming guide with register specifications. Included with the graphics documentation is their new execution unit and video engine."
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Intel Releases Ivy Bridge Programming Docs Under CC License

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  • by Nukenin (646365) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:42PM (#40422333)

    The documentation referenced is available from Intel Linux Graphics: Documentation [intellinuxgraphics.org].

  • by CajunArson (465943) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:43PM (#40422337) Journal

    This is a release of a large and very complete set of formal documents, but open source driver code (GPL'd and part of the mainline Linux kernel) has been released under a public development process since just after Sandy Bridge first came out in preparation for the Ivy Bridge launch. This code is written by paid Intel employees.

    Incidentally, large portions of the DRM infrastructure in the kernel *and* the X server *and* the upcoming Wayland project are all being made by paid Intel employees. Note that this development work also has major benefits to the open-source AMD driver development and we would all be better off if AMD (not to mention Nvidia) adopted Intel's approach to paying people for open-source work.

    In a similar manner, there is already 100% GPL'd code that is available for the next-generation Haswell graphics engines. Obviously at this stage it isn't complete, but things are not hidden behind closed doors and, just like Ivy Bridge, there should be solid launch-day support for the Haswell IGP. Considering the rumours going around about the extra resources that Haswell will offer for the GPU, this could chip could provide very solid launch-day out-of-the-box graphics support in notebooks and other devices that don't require a dicrete GPU.

  • by CajunArson (465943) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:48PM (#40422367) Journal

    P.S. --> To anyone who saw "DRM" in the previous post and had a heart attack... DRM here means Direct Rendering Manager [wikipedia.org] and is the Linux infrastructure that lets you access the GPU for graphics acceleration.

  • The actual documents (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:52PM (#40422389)

    Direct link without the Phoronix fluff:

    http://intellinuxgraphics.org/documentation.html

  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:00PM (#40422435)

    Yup, to the tune of a couple 100 million: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTEyNTE [phoronix.com]

  • by Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:25PM (#40422593)

    That's what makes the release of Intell's documentation under a CC license so logical. A group or even a confederation of groups working to develop a good driver can really make use of the docs. This can also make far more sense for Intel as they don't have build a driver for every purpose that their chips can be applied to. If anyone could afford to release documentation like this, without worrying about exposure to patents (as one other poster noted), that would be Intel. They're big enough to defend against most suits without going bankrupt.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of this.

  • Re:Good news! (Score:4, Informative)

    by GrumpyOldMan (140072) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:29PM (#40422643)

    Nvidia's "half baked" support is actually better, since their drivers are backported to older stable distros. Stuff that requires kernel or bleeding-edge X.org is a royal pain to make work on a box running an older distro.

  • Re:why is this news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tapewolf (1639955) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:40PM (#40422729)

    Intel publishes ( for free ) nearly all their architecture documents. It's been their business model since the beginning... how else would the X86 platform exist?

    Someone clearly fell asleep in the 1990s, when Intel were so terrified of the V86 extensions being copied by AMD that they wouldn't tell anyone except Microsoft how they worked. People actually reverse-engineered it and released their own documentation before Intel was willing to allow things like Linux DOSEMU to use it. This did not endear me to Intel back in the day.

    Indeed, an interesting relic from that era is my Turbo Assembler 5 manual. It has a number of blank entries in it for Pentium instructions, e.g.
    RDTSC (Proprietary instruction. Contact Intel for more Information.") - Turbo Assembler Quick Reference, p.118

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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