Nvidia gets even more open saucy

Nvidia released the initial open-source hardware code to support its forthcoming Tegra K1 SoC graphics within Nouveau.

The Tegra K1 is uses Kepler-based graphics and should be rather powerful. Nvidia has already been supporting their binary graphics driver on ARM for several months, but now to complement its official high-performance binary graphics driver is Nouveau graphics driver support for this SoC has not been seen.

Nouveau for years has relied upon community reverse-engineering but it now seems that Nvidia has woken up and smelt the coffee and provided the first hardware enablement patches to the driver itself.

Alexandre Courbot of Nvidia told the DRI mailing list that GK20A is the Kepler-based GPU used in the upcoming Tegra K1 chips.

“The following patches perform architectural changes to Nouveau that are necessary to support non-PCI GPUs and add initial support for GK20A. Although the support is still very basic and more user-space changes will be needed to make the full graphics stack run on top of it, we were able to successfully open channels and run simple pushbuffers with libdrm,” he wrote.

This Tegra K1 Nouveau support is still proof-of-concept but it is a sign that Nvidia is getting more open saucy having committed to better open source graphics support in September.

Now this experimental work is limited to Nouveau’s DRM kernel driver and not the Nouveau Gallium3D driver nor xf86-video-nouveau DDX.

Nouveau is still stuck to GL3 compared to Nvidia’s OpenGL 4.x hardware, the performance is better, and there are other features not found in the open-source Nvidia driver.