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Graphics Open Source Linux

Open-Source Qualcomm GPU Driver Published 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the strategic-free-making dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Not being content with the state of open source graphics drivers for Linux, a developer working for Texas Instruments has reverse-engineered his competitor's (Qualcomm) driver and written an open-source Snapdragon driver. With being tainted by legal documents at Texas Instruments, the developer, who is also involved with Linaro, had no other choice but to work on an open source graphics driver for his competitor in his free time. The open source Qualcomm Snapdragon/Adreno driver is called Freedreno."
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Open-Source Qualcomm GPU Driver Published

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  • Re:a clarification (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kurthr (30155) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @06:16PM (#39689295)

    Since Slashdot previously reported that Qualcom has promised to "Kill all proprietary drivers for good", this seems like the right start :)
    http://developers.slashdot.org/story/12/03/29/1650208/qualcomm-calls-to-kill-all-proprietary-drivers-for-good [slashdot.org]

  • Why don't you agree? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @02:42AM (#39691461)
    Why don't you agree with it? First of all, he did nothing illegal. This is how binary software gets reversed. There is a copyright on the code, but not on the ideas inside of it (you can't patent an idea). There is no copyright on the hardware he's violating in any way. He merely copied it's function, not the actual code itself. Second of all, Qualcomm will not sell a single piece of hardware less than what they were already selling. If anything, they'll be selling more because there's a better driver for it now. Third of all, Qualcomm will now have an opportunity to save money because they only have to help support the freeware driver and they can bin their own.

    The only spicy thing about this whole deal is that he is not just a guy that does this for a hobby, but he does the exact same thing for a Qualcomm competitor when he's on the clock. Maybe his employer will think he benefited a competitor in his free time, but firing him for it will mean that they are admitting that open source drivers are better and they will admit to their own failure by not providing their own. They are in a catch 22 on this. Fire him and admit they are doing business wrong, which the shareholders and investors won't like, or just leave him be and decide on their own if they want to put code for their GPU drivers in open source. I think he's safe, or will at least have a good career at some other company that is willing to hire him for his skills.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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