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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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:31PM (#40422287)
    nVidia should have bit the bullet and done the same thing. Could have benefited them financially and boosted consumer satisfaction.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:31PM (#40422289)

    If you won't allow us to write software for your crappy cards, then they'll be no software for your cards. I don't understand why these Microsoft-style closed source morons always think not allowing people to use what they sell will help them. They're letting their paranoia get in the way of good business.

    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:46PM (#40422351) Homepage Journal

      I don't understand why these Microsoft-style closed source morons always think not allowing people to use what they sell will help them.

      You're asking a question about market behavior, but the problem isn't a market problem (what you say makes sense, in a free market). Since the expected market behaviors don't exist, you have to ask, "why is this market broken?"

      The standard answer is that they're violating thousands of patents six ways to Sunday, and the more open they are about their hardware the more risk they expose on these being found out.

      Of course all the manufacturers are doing it because the patent system is so screwed up and the product would be impractical otherwise. People get grants on the obvious and necessary techniques all the time. And it's not just the big three where they could cross-license - there are trolls out there who just want to be parasites on the successful shops.

      As usual, this is social engineering run amok. Yes, the reason you can't have good video drivers for linux is because the government has screwed up this market too. Take away this patent morass, and the vendors become interested in selling cards any way they can. Of course, the smartest-kids-in-the-room will now chime in and say that there simply wouldn't be any good video cards without the government getting involved. You decide which acutally makes sense.

      • by lightknight (213164) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:05PM (#40422473) Homepage

        Fascinating idea. I thought the main issue was that some of their OpenGl code was licensed to them, and that license was non-transferable.

      • I agree. Let's ditch the patent system. It's the only rational, logical thing to do. I mean, if you think that the Patent System is good, then I call bullshit until you test the damn hypothesis already. It's not like we can't re-enact whatever crap laws we want.

        I can hear it now: "If you get rid of copyrights and patents NO ONE WILL INNOVATE"... Well, please explain how the fashion and car industries are doing so well without these protections? [ted.com]
        FUDsters gonna FUD...

        It's time we did the damned experiment, abolish patents AND copyrights. Times have changed! We're in the INFORMATION AGE now. I fear most people grossly underestimate the power of reverse engineers... Besides: "May the Best Copier Win!" has been the battle cry of life itself for billions of years. Only now we place restrictions on the flow of information? Look, as much as I liked that Planet of the Apes movie, I don't want it to come true.

        • by pakar (813627) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @07:40PM (#40433373)

          Well, don't think it's good to abolish it all together... But a big rewrite is definitely needed..

          I agree that the fashion industry is a bit different... But the car-industry does use quite a bit of patents...

          For copyright... Lets make it "until you cannot prove that you have made less than 5 times the invested money or 5 years, whatever comes first.". Commercial use of the content could be restricted to 15 years or something like that but for all non-profit use it's free for all. Also lets make any work that is not available to buy in your market free to copy for non-profit 1 year after public release. For each copyright-infringement that a company files they would be required to present proof of the above... If done commercially then they don't need to prove anything, but they could be required to try and make a deal with the other company before being able to file a lawsuit.. Maybe, for companies like Disney that does have some things like Donald the duck that is more of a brand than a pure copyright issue it could be possible to register some things are branding that would prevent any commercial use as long as that brand is used by the company.. Ie you could not register the movie "The green lantern" as a brand but you could register the character "Green Lantern" as a brand.

          For patents... Just make it harder to fine a patent.. Make it impossible to patent ideas that can spawn by a couple of people in that area of expertise in a couple of hours... (one-button checkout patent that amazon got anyone?)
          Make them time/profit restricted too.. Make it possible for the company that filed the patent to make money of it.. Lets say, review period 2 years.. If they have made less than 10 times of the provable amount of money they invested they get another 2 years....

          Also the licencing-fee for the patent should to be attached to the patent, ie the same fee for anyone that might want it, if they don't broker a special contract.... And the license-fee should include both per use and company wide licenses. Also they should be required to pay 1% of the company wide license amount per year to the patent-office. That should take care of all the crap patents that are filed but no resources to review..

          With these rules i could accept even more strict rules about patent/copyright-infringement...

      • by mounthood (993037) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @05:25PM (#40423415)

        Trolls can just use legal discovery. The companies don't gain anything by keeping the spec's secret, since they'd have to give whatever was asked for in a patent trial anyway. It may be sealed (non-public) but the companies can't hide it, or refuse to provide it.

        The standard answer is that they're violating thousands of patents six ways to Sunday, and the more open they are about their hardware the more risk they expose on these being found out.

        I don''t see how making it public would encourage trolls. If everyone already knows then the trolls do too. Uncertainty about hardware specifications is not holding back the trolls, it's the millions of dollars for multi-year trials that have uncertain payouts.

        • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday June 23, 2012 @06:54PM (#40424073) Homepage Journal

          I don''t see how making it public would encourage trolls. If everyone already knows then the trolls do too.

          The trolls don't know which patents are being 'violated'. You can't simply go fishing with discovery. "Your honor, it stands to reason that the defendant is probably using our patents, so we'd like to see all the source and design documents for their core products. Our evidence is that we suspect they owe us money." What judge is going to go along with that?

          • by mounthood (993037) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:13PM (#40424201)

            The trolls don't know which patents are being 'violated'.

            They know which patents they own, and can make a reasonable guess as to which apply. That's all they need for discovery. Trolls don't have to present evidence prior to filing suit. Think of SCO or Oracle v. Google, all it takes is money and time, and then they're in discovery.

            Using discovery as 'fishing trip' is about finding new, unrelated information or issues, which trolls don't need to do.

    • by dave420 (699308) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:56PM (#40422417)
      They are often stopped by licensing issues when attempting to open source parts of their systems. That's the world we live in today - stamping your feet because they brought you some of the highest-performing hardware in modern PCs seems pretty childish.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:02PM (#40422867)

      nVidia is afraid of its competitors, namely INTEL getting better 3D tech. I guess Imagination tech, and ARM's Mali count. Imagination and AMD have been around for a long time, so their teams don't really need practice (Kyro, ATI). Intel has the money, engineers and fabs to steamroll its competition. Intel has already grabbed half of the 3D market by integrating its inferior graphics. Imagine what they could do if their 3D team was among the best. It will happen eventually.

      So, in short, nVidia doesn't release hardware details, because of fear of Intel.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 24, 2012 @03:11AM (#40427083)

      let me know when you have Ivy graphics drivers equal to windows for linux ?

      You know that nvidia has a lot of GPUs variants out there.

      Lets see, you need detailed hardware specs: architecture, low level hw interface, and all the understanding (communicated) to use it properly. You also have bugs and non-generalities to deal with across all the models -- plus any updates/fixes to silicon. If someone wanted to give it to you, it would be a lot of work to filter through the internal company docs (and emails) and present what they wanted to give you.

      You have a huge pile of doc, and then, what if some of it isnt correct -- it isnt quite right, or is old doc before something was fixed or changed or it isnt true for some models, some of the time and they could have said so but didnt. Standard stuff with doc but are you ready to deal with that.

    • If you won't allow us to write software for your crappy cards, then they'll be no software for your cards. I don't understand why these Microsoft-style closed source morons always think not allowing people to use what they sell will help them. They're letting their paranoia get in the way of good business.

      Because it's a balance of interests - financial, engineering, IP, etc.

      Let's say someone like nVidia or AMD open up their drivers completely - how much extra money would that make them?

      Given that Intel is the predominant graphics card on the market with the vast majority of PCs sold sporting Intel graphics, the market that nVidia and AMD go for is quite a niche one. Then add to that how many people will buy a $500 graphics card (the profitable line - the midline and low ends are just to round out the offerings) and run Linux. And then add the remaining percentage of those who care for open-source drivers (hint - not everyone uses Linux because of it's FOSS - they use it because they want to get stuff done, like build Android or other stuff and care little about anything else Linux other than "just make Linux work on the PC")

      The only reason there are Linux drivers is simply because it's a checkmark in the feature list for marketing, and it appears that Linux folks love checkmarks (given how many seem to always point out how featureless Apple products are at not supporting 10,000 obscure features).

      Intel does it because they have little skin in the game, and it helps them in one big area - servers which predominantly run Linux or other OS that isn't Windows. Servers sell profitable server chips, and people care about stability so even if a server is equipped with a crappy graphics card, no one cares.

      nVidia and AMD's primary market is still Windows users (and probably OS X as well - Apple's bound to ship millions of their laptops). Heck, it's probably why Apple went with a wimpy 650M graphics - they could've gone higher end but nVidia couldn't make them fast enough! At least without having to flood the low and mid-end market with chips and starving the high end.

  • Good news! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tramp (68773) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:31PM (#40422291)
    And a showstopper for those other graphic card makers (AMD/NVIDIA) with their halfbaked support for Linux.
    • 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.

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @09:42PM (#40425289) Homepage Journal

      AMD has release the specs of their chips and has even helped with the development of drivers. It is unfair to call their support half baked.

      • by LingNoi (1066278) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @11:38PM (#40426011)

        The article itself says they've lagged behind in handing out specs.

        • by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:45AM (#40451133) Homepage

          They might be slow, but:
          - They *DO* end up releasing specs. (Although after a long time in legal checks before getting approved for release).
          - They do *PAY* developers to write open source drivers for their GPUs.

          This has ended up well nicley [phoronix.com] for them: unlike Nvidia, they have a nice opensource driver that can be ported to chinese (MIPS based) CPUs, bringing lot of money to them. (Also in five year, expect cheap chinese clones of current Radeon GPUs :-P).

          (And its not the first time that the opensource driver has been useful for AMD: they have ported it for Windows Embed Compact 7 [phoronix.com]).

          Also if you follow news on phoronix:
          AMD is working on better collaborate with the opensource world, and better keep it in mind in their production piepline. The target is to have less legal checks before releasing specs, and have more opensource friendly components (less problem with the video DRM).
          The long term plan is to reach the kind of integrated opensource development that Intel is enjoying with same day support.
          So in a few year, they will probably reach intel-levels of support. For now they aren't as good, but at least, unlike nvidia, they show that they put some efforts in there.

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:42PM (#40422335)

    We've come a long way since the 47 registers and paltry documentation of the Commodore 64's 6567 video chip. My question is, who can actually master these modern systems before they are obsolete? No one person, I think, can gobble 2400 pages of documentation to work with a graphics system. Are people now merely specialists of one tiny subset of a system, never to understand what is going on overall? That might explain why we need 600M device drivers these days.

    • 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.

    • by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Saturday June 23, 2012 @06:58PM (#40424103) Homepage
      Back in highschool I did some projects with atmega644 microprocessor, about 400 pages of documentation. Granted I didn't read it all, but when I read most of the relevant parts and got a very good feel for the hardware. My point being, that 2400 pages isn't necessarily alot.

      Also there's probably both highlevel and lowlevel APIs, instructions or modes on the video chip, and in order to write a video driver you probably don't need to understand the internal lowlevel instructions. If you want the write the optimal video driver, you probably do... But optimal code is pretty hard to write :)

      My question is, who can actually master these modern systems before they are obsolete?

      I think a small group of dedicated people and maybe some intel engineers.
      But fully utilizing them before they are obsolute, is probably not possible, but keep in mind that todays apps are written in Javascript and HTML, when will that EVER utilize anything efficiently?

      Back on topic, the next card intel release will probably use the same or fairly similar architecture, so what you learn in these docs are probably not obsolete when intel release a new video chip...

    • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:56PM (#40424509)

      We've come a long way since the 47 registers and paltry documentation of the Commodore 64's 6567 video chip

      I wouldn't call the 6567 (VIC-II) documentation "paltry." Sure, it didn't cover every weird edge case, but the official C-64 Programmer's Reference Guide included full register details and everything you needed to get access to all the chip's features.

    • by X0563511 (793323) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @02:03AM (#40426729) Homepage Journal

      That might explain why we need 600M device drivers these days.

      The more likely explanation is a combination of third-party bloatware attachments, feature creep, and lazy programmers who don't bother with (or don't care about) proper optimization.

    • by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:03AM (#40451319) Homepage

      My question is, who can actually master these modern systems before they are obsolete? No one person, I think, can gobble 2400 pages of documentation to work with a graphics system.

      The engineers who designed the chip know it at best.
      And the good thing is that with intel, they collaborate with the drivers writing efforts early on. Drivers are written all the while the hardware is designed.
      At the end, not only to you get a massive documentation, but you get piece of (L)GPL code written by the very few people who have an understanding of how the system works.

      But yes, nowadays, the barrier of entry for writting driver is rather high and requires collaboration between hardware and software design.
      That's why there's a time gap between when a company starts to open specs and when there are nice drivers.
      Intel started very early on, so now they've reached the point where each new hardware can be released together with specs and opensource drivers. (The 2400 page get written at the same time as the code is developped, both by the very persons who know it at best).
      AMD started later, when they acquired ATI. Their process isn't as streamlined: specs must undergo check from the legal team (they have to check the AMD evuivalent of 2400 pages before publishing) and are released a little bit late, the latest drivers still lag behind the latest hardware (the developers need to read said AMD 2400 page before a driver is written), etc. But if they keep their work up (and the recent chinese hardware purchase might help) they can reach the level of support that Intel has.
      Nvidia doesn't play along, so the opensource efforts are still at the reverse engineering part. Given the complexity of a modern GPU, that's a tremendous work for the Nouveau team.

      What also helps is that there isn't often a huge break in architecture in GPUs. Most of the generation are very often "same as before, only with more parallel units, and a few tweaks and minor features here and there (on a smaller process with faster clocks)". So by the time someone finish reading the 2400 pages, chances are high that the then Intel GPU will be roughly the same, only 24x the number of units, at half the nanometer, running on a 3x faster clock, with some minor block having changed here and there.
      The chips will be outdated. But the global architecture, won't necessarily, and thus the documentation won't be that much obsolete.

  • 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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:21PM (#40422975)

      AMD do pay people working on their open-source driver development. They also release specs, though on both accounts I believe Intel do a lot more, but to suggest AMD doesn't do anything for open-source is a tad off base.

    • by Qubit (100461) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:34PM (#40423079) Homepage Journal

      we would all be better off if AMD (not to mention Nvidia) adopted Intel's approach to paying people for open-source work.

      I thought that AMD had a number of devs working on open graphics drivers and on other open stuff like Coreboot...right?

      Here's their "Open Source Zone" [amd.com], and here's Kevin Tanguay's blog post [amd.com] of May 5, 2011 (emphasis mine):

      AMD is now committed to support coreboot for all future products on the roadmap starting next with support for the upcoming “Llano” APU. AMD has come to realize that coreboot is useful in a myriad of applications and markets, even beyond what was originally considered. Consequently, AMD plans to continue building its support of coreboot in both features and roadmap for the foreseeable future.

      • by CajunArson (465943) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @06:58PM (#40424097) Journal

        That's a great press release and AMD is better than Nvidia since AMD does publish at least partial documentation.. *but*... support for newer AMD cards in the open source drivers has major issues. As of right now, the 7 series cards that have been out for over 6 months have basically no support under the open source drivers. The 6 series and older cards are improving, but Catalyst is still leagues ahead in OpenGL performance and support. The documentation for the AMD cards is not release until months after the cards ship, and there is basically zero open-source development done prior to launch, so there is a long lead time between the cards being available and the cards being usable in any form under Linux (except through Catalyst, which has its own issues).

        One big issue is that the Mesa & open source graphics stack has just recently even gotten support for OpenGL 3.0. The standards support under the proprietary Nvidia & AMD cards is, ironically, far ahead of the open source implementations.

      • by jonwil (467024) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @10:50PM (#40425751)

        Big thank-you to AMD for supporting CoreBoot. Intel on the other hand seem disinterested in CoreBoot at best, actively against it at worst. You cant run CoreBoot with any Intel CPU made in the last decade and Intel has thus far refused to share any specs on their chipsets.

      • by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:42AM (#40451743) Homepage

        Yes they do. Only they have very few developers on the graphic drivers (a couple of guys), whereas Intel had a whole company (Tungsten graphics, now bought by VMWare) writing their drivers.

        They'll probably now ramp up their opensource team after getting the chinese deal.

    • we would all be better off if AMD (not to mention Nvidia) adopted Intel's approach to paying people for open-source work.

      They do pay people, but they're not a large part of their total driver team. To put it a bit cruelly Intel doesn't have much to lose by being open source as AMD (through ATI) and nVidia probably know way more about high performance graphics than Intel does. AMD does open source, but they like nVidia both consider their proprietary highly optimized 3D engine their crown jewels. Intel would love a fully optimized OpenGL 4.2 engine when they're working on Mesa that's still on OpenGL 3.0 as far as I know. AMD has one, nVidia has one, Intel doesn't. Gee, I wonder why Intel is the one busy writing one...

      • by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:36AM (#40451681) Homepage

        Intel would love a fully optimized OpenGL 4.2 engine when they're working on Mesa that's still on OpenGL 3.0 as far as I know.

        Even worse, for their older hardware, the still use the classic (non-modular) part of Mesa, so they don't even get full OpenGL 3.0.
        At least Gallium3D (the modern modular part of Mesa) is fully OpenGL 3.0 and is slowly being developed onward. It's used by the oficial AMD opensource drivers, by Nouveau, by the Intel official driver for the latest generation, and some experimental drivers for older generations done by tungsten when they started toying with the idea (and some further development done by google as they are interested for their ChromOS).

        Also Nouveau and the opensource version of AMD will also benefit from an OpenGL 4.2 implementation, thanks to the modular architecture of Gallium3D.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:43PM (#40422339)

    This is a good thing - it means that open-source drivers can now be written that will be adequate for most users. Unless you are doing heavy 3D gaming or HTPC, Intel's products are fine.

    For HTPC, Intel would be a great choice if only they'd finally fix that lingering 23.976 FPS bug. They just don't seem to be taking it that seriously, though, since it's existed since the G45 days at least. Also, I don't know if this is supported through the registers (even the documents may not make it clear) but it would be great to have real YCbCr 4:2:2 output – AMD cards claim to do this, but they are actually converting the data from YCbCr (on DVD/Blu-Ray) to RGB and then back to YCbCr for output. Allowing source-direct YCbCr output (which currently only dedicated SoCs can do) and fixing the 23.976 FPS problems would make Intel-based HTPCs a viable option at the high end. (Advanced videophiles want to use a dedicated scaler device, which offers much better scaling and/or deinterlacing results than what software and average standalone players can do.)

  • 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 evilviper (135110) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @02:55PM (#40422407) Journal

    I still suggest avoiding Intel GPUs. The hardware isn't reliable, performance is very poor, and Linux driver support is quite iffy...

    My old i845 (P4 era) was a minor nightmare... The (analog) VGA output looked absolutely horrible on my Dell LCD. The DVI output was stable, except it simply crashed and burned when trying to do 1600x1200 over DVI (it could do the same res over VGA no problem) at least under RHEL5.x.

    Under RHEL6.x, it was a non-starter... 30 minutes of use or so, and the screen stops redrawing. You've got a mess on your screen, and (thanks to KVM) restarting X11 doesn't fix it... you have to completely reboot.

    I've since replaced that system with an GeForce 7025, and everything is working nicely... The (analog) VGA output looks perfect on this same LCD monitor that couldn't handle the i845 output. DVI works perfectly at every supported resolution. And it works perfectly under RHEL6.x with no weird issues thanks to Nouveau.

    Add to that the simple fact that AMD systems are usually a better value, and I just have to recommend avoiding Intel's GPUs, no matter how well they're doing supporting open source driver development. They're simply far inferior in every single other way...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:18PM (#40422551)
      Try not having ancient hardware from before intel started doing decent gpus, that always tends to help.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:23PM (#40422577)

      Well, wasn't the whole P4 thing a failure?

      I urge you, take another look at a ivy/sandy bridge gpu.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:33PM (#40422683)

      Let's see...you're basing your opinion on a comparison of an i845 chip from 2002 to a GeForce 7025 from 2006. Hey, Rip Van Winkle, guess what? We're in 2012 now. Intel graphics chips have improved greatly in the 10 years since the i845 came out. Please stop posting, your stupidity and inability to update your knowledge is making Linux users look bad.

    • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:36PM (#40422695)

      Well, both Intel and Linux have come a long way since the Pentium 4 era, so I don't think it's fair to use a 10-year-old chipset as an example to avoid Intel GPUs now. Is also isn't fair comparing a 2002 iGPU to a 2007 iGPU. Of course the 7025 still works and is supported - it's much newer. My 2003 FX card, however, won't render anything GTK3 properly, it's completely abandoned by Nvidia and a very low priority for nouveau developers.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:42PM (#40422737)

      I doubt the issue is with the hardware itself. Issues with "hardware" are generally driver or firmware related.

    • by fnj (64210) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:31PM (#40423051)

      Funny. I categorically won't even consider anything EXCEPT Intel graphics hardware for linux. It does a beautiful job for anything I need. Not only 10 year old stuff, but the latest. I've got both ancient 865 and 945, and two Sandy Bridge systems running PUIAS6 (free RHEL6 clone) and other distros - flawlessly.

      I wouldn't use Nvidia and AMD power hog crap even if completely capable linux drivers WERE available open source. I don't need dozens of wasted watts to draw text and little pictures on my monitor. And I certainly don't need it to play HD accelerated video.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:07PM (#40424153)

        Funny. I categorically won't even consider anything EXCEPT Intel graphics hardware for linux. It does a beautiful job for anything I need. Not only 10 year old stuff, but the latest. I've got both ancient 865 and 945, and two Sandy Bridge systems running PUIAS6 (free RHEL6 clone) and other distros - flawlessly.

        I wouldn't use Nvidia and AMD power hog crap even if completely capable linux drivers WERE available open source. I don't need dozens of wasted watts to draw text and little pictures on my monitor. And I certainly don't need it to play HD accelerated video.

        Good points, but how can I buy an (otherwise) high-end laptop with "only" intel graphics? How can I get a quad-core i7 with full HD (or better) and intel graphics? The high-end laptops all come with nvidia, amd, or sometimes a choice between the two. Intel is only offered on low-resolution screens. :-(

        • by fnj (64210) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @06:32PM (#40432659)

          ... how can I buy an (otherwise) high-end laptop with "only" intel graphics? How can I get a quad-core i7 with full HD (or better) and intel graphics?

          It's a fair question. My usual answer to most of this class of question is to say Lenovo. Check out the Lenovo 530 [lenovo.com]. Hit the customize button. You will be able to pick all the way up to Core i7-3520M, display type up to 15.6" 1920x1080 LED backlit anti-glare, and still pick Intel HD Graphics 4000. It takes a little diligence to see what they will let you build. There are two even higher processors which for some reason they won't sell without Nvidia; who knows why - but this ones fills the bill. I am sure there are others.

          BTW, Lenovo rules.

    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @05:58PM (#40423645) Homepage

      Under RHEL6.x, it was a non-starter... 30 minutes of use or so, and the screen stops redrawing. You've got a mess on your screen, and (thanks to KVM) restarting X11 doesn't fix it... you have to completely reboot.

      No, you've got a mess on your screen, and you have to completely reboot.

  • by happy_place (632005) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @03:10PM (#40422501) Homepage
    ...by releasing their documentation under the Creative Commons license, Intel saved enough money in lawyer fees to purchase a new fab...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @04:17PM (#40422935)

    For those of us who don't want to waste time actually downloading the PDFs buried in links from the phoronix story, the license is CC-BY-ND, so you can access it freely, and use whatever you want, but god forbid you should fix a typo.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @05:13PM (#40423325)

    I recently got a TI AM3358. Its technical reference manual is 4200+ pages and at the end of the day you are still missing some crucial bits of information.
    Of course this document does not include any details about the ARM core, the graphics accelerator and the programmable real-time unit.
    Pinout, timings, and electrical characteristics are also in a seperate document, as usual.

  • by Narishma (822073) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @06:19PM (#40423781)

    Man, it seems like every other sentence in that article is a link to another Phoronix article. I count 14 Phoronix links in there, and the actual link to the Intel docs is buried in the middle of that.
    http://intellinuxgraphics.org/documentation.html [intellinuxgraphics.org]

  • by fragMasterFlash (989911) on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:12PM (#40424195)
    Intel has enough hardware developers that the don't typically need to license third party IP to get the job done. Many silicon vendors don't have that luxury and cannot risk incidental leaks of IP details for which they could be held liable. Lets see how much documentation Intel releases for the Atom smartphone chips with PowerVR GPUs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2012 @07:59PM (#40424533)

    A hardware manufacturer that supplies an instruction manual. Big bonus points for having that instruction manual available under a permissive license.

    Intel have had this attitude for quite a long time and their graphics are steadily improving too (already more than good enough for my needs). ATI and NVidia seem to be too busy competing with one another to see that the market they are fighting over is becoming niche. Their occasional token gestures to the community are merely small publicity stunts to the constant support provided by Intel. ...Man, I didn't think Nvidia could suck so hard for so long that they could actually breed Intel fanboys but here I am. :)

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