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Re: Accelerated video cards and non-free firmware

On Tue, 2009-03-10 at 08:46 +0100, Marco d'Itri wrote:
> On Mar 10, Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> wrote:
> > The firmware used for 3D acceleration in the r128 (ATI Rage 128), radeon
> > (ATI Radeon) and mga (Matrox G200/G400/G550) drivers is non-free and
> > will be moved from the linux-image packages into a new firmware-linux
> > package starting with Linux 2.6.29.
> Do you know about any 3D card having a free firmware? Because I know
> none.
> The difference is that these cards do not waste on-board flash for it
> and have it uploaded by the host.
> > The free drivers for Intel and Nvidia graphics hardware should support
> > 3D acceleration without the need for non-free firmware.  I'm not sure
> I am quite sure that this is not correct.

Indeed it is not correct.
I can't speak for ATI(AMD) or Intel (I believe Intels are free but
unsure about 3D).
I can, however, speak for Nvidia. There is a long history of
non-cooperation between NVidia and the Free Software community.
Currently there is a Free implementation of a driver for NVidia cards
called "nv"[1] which only supports rendering 2D. However the
"Nouveau"[2] is a Free implementation for 3D support for some cards.

[1]: http://xorg.freedesktop.org/wiki/nv
[2]: http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/

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Started: Tue Mar 10 18:54:50 EST 2009

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