While Nvidia is off the Christmas card list of Linus Torvalds for failing to come up with decent Linux support, it seems he is not the only one displeased with the graphics chip maker’s open saucy stance.
While Nvidia probably does not care too much about the one fingered protest from Torvalds, it might be more miffed that it has lost a huge order from the Chinese government for the same reason.
The Chinese wanted to order ten million GPUs that would work with its Longsoon processors and home-built, Linux-based OS.
Longsoon chips are MIPS-based, and Nvidia’s Linux driver doesn’t support that architecture.
For 10 million GPUs, Nvidia should have shared the driver source code to get the MIPS capable, but it seems that the company did not want to do that either claiming that it would cost it millions to do that.
As a result the order was given to the more open sauce friendly AMD. Being stubborn cost Nvidia about $500 million.
It seems that Nvidia was caught in a concept that Nvidia drivers were only for enthusiasts and would not make it a lot of dosh on the open market.
As Phoronx points out, Nvidia has just given AMD all the power it needs to tell businesses that its GPUs are just want it needed.
AMD still has a way to go before there is full Linux support. There is not any Radeon HD 7000 series support, documentation isn’t complete, there’s only OpenGL 3.0 compliance, there’s missing features like CrossFire and advanced AA modes.
AMD’s OpenCL is still under development, power management isn’t as good as their proprietary driver, and the performance is still not as good.
However, if AMD pulls its finger out, it could blindside Nvidia completely. That is if its management wakes up.