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Thread: Open ATI R600/700 3D Graphics For Christmas?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    It was all a lot easier 10 years ago. You still had to worry about competitive advantage but the penalties for "getting it wrong" were a lot less drastic. We used to provide a lot of documentation for our GPUs back then -- it was really the integration of DRM functionality into the rest of the graphics pipeline that chased us out of the open source business last time.

    It is a tough call. We wouldn't have HTPCs and DVD/BD playback on PCs without the integration of DRM into typical PC hardware, but we do pay a high price in terms of being able to open up programming info.
    The way I'm reading your comments is that DRM is cause of your risks. If your drm implementation gets cracked then you'll lose the next generation. etc, etc... Well, if that's the case then it's definitely in your best interest to dump the risk. Start helping the open source community develop effective and cheap ways to bypass DRM implementations. Why risk you entire company on DRM? It occurs to me that if you were capable of playing back protected content, in an open way, then hollywood could revoke your key and it wouldnt make one damn bit of difference. If the hollywood lawyers want to sue, then you could easily make a monopoly argument based on the good ole superiority argument. Shit, you'd win that lawsuite easily the first go round.

    Here's the bottom line, it's a simple fact whether you like it or not.... DRM or not, we --WILL-- be able to watch our BD and HDDVD movies on linux with open source drivers and open source players sooner or later. It's going to happen eventually. It --IS-- inevitable.
    Last edited by duby229; 11-19-2008 at 07:59 PM.

  2. #32
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    Open source drivers usally don't need to support HDCP or macrovision. I don't know if fglrx or nvidia binary drivers for Linux do support it, but as no BD/HD DVD player is available for endusers it does not really matter. In the special case that you can not provide accelleration without describing the DRM mechanism how about using that part as small binary blob which does not need to be used if not wanted but optionally provides all missing features?

  3. #33
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    I'd imagine the future just simply involves a video playback pipeline that doesn't need any secrets. No OS involvement at all, really. Pass in the encrypted stream and let the hardware do all the work. Then the grand sum of what anyone could possibly reverse engineer (unless they start hacking on the card's firmware/microcode) would not actually be able to break any of the encryption.

    I'm unsure what the difference between UVD and UVD2 is, but I vaguely recall reading that UVD2 actually works something like I described above, and might even get Linux support. Is that right, or is the video decryption stuff out of the question until a future hardware generation?

    To the folks suggesting that AMD start fighting DRM, get real. No matter how clear of a case your uninformated armchair lawyer opinion makes it out to be, ANY rocking of the boat runs the risk of AMD getting sued, and losing. They're not in the position to fight DRM. In the end, it all comes back to the consumers. If you buy Bluray discs or download DRM content, then you validate Hollywood. Don't do it. Don't let your friends do it. Donate to causes like EFF that lobby against it. Donate time and money to consumer evangelism organizations that let regular folks understand why DRM is bad and why they need to avoid it. If DRM stops selling, it will die. Just like how it's starting to go with music, when people started getting pissed at iTunes and its (relatively benign) DRM restrictions, and now all the music labels make most of their music available on stores like Amazon without any DRM.

    Consumer advocacy is the way to go. Asking a big company to fight your battles for you is cowardly, lazy, and ineffective.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Open source drivers usally don't need to support HDCP or macrovision. I don't know if fglrx or nvidia binary drivers for Linux do support it, but as no BD/HD DVD player is available for endusers it does not really matter. In the special case that you can not provide accelleration without describing the DRM mechanism how about using that part as small binary blob which does not need to be used if not wanted but optionally provides all missing features?
    The problem is that DRM isn't all in one place -- protection of the video content involves almost all of the same blocks as acceleration, other than the shader core itself. The reason the risk assessment is tricky is that we *have* to expose some of the DRM-related stuff but need to make sure that the sum total of what we expose plus what is likely to be re-engineered is not enough to cause trouble.

    A couple of companies have tried combining small blobs with a largely open source solution -- they all run into the same problem, which is that a small blob of secret stuff in an open source framework just screams "REVERSE ENGINEER ME !!"

  5. #35
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    Default bridgman, what am I missing?

    bridgman, first of all, I want to thank you for your participation in this forum. Your candid discussion, attention to the issues at hand, and the news you bring about the open-source effort being made at ATI are all very much appreciated.

    Your post made earlier in this thread raised eyebrows and questions, though. I apologize in advance if what I'm about to ask seems barbed: my intent is to be clear, not to be argumentative.

    The short summary of my argument below, for that majority which will skip the details:
    1- The Windows Vista Premium logo creates an incentive *but not a requirement* for AMD to ship graphics parts which incorporate HDCP/AACS/DRM licensing;
    2- The WD driver model creates a financial incentive to ship fewer parts and fewer driver sets, since each one requires length and expensive certification;
    3- shipping parts and drivers which are inherently and inescapably vulnerable to reverse engineering and just hoping that people don't do so is incredibly naive, especially when such efforts can jeapordize AMD's continued viability as a business;
    4- The two largest markets in which AMD competes are the embedded/business market (which actually has an incentive to *not* ship entertainment-capable systems) and the gaming market (which cares a hell of a lot more about framerates than HD, if Blu-Ray sales numbers are anything to go by) - the home theatre PC market is *at best* made up of early-adopting masochistic hobbyists[1] and frankly doesn't figure into the picture at all;
    5- Where are the parts and drivers which do not opt in to this losing DRM licensing game? Where is AMD's fallback plan? What is the huge deterrent which is preventing them from selling parts which customers obviously want and which do not expose AMD to enormous legal liability?

    [1]: I care about the HTPC market and refuse to use an operating system other than Linux. Ask me about masochism.
    --

    First of all, tapping the Windows market is what decides whether a company can compete as a manufacturer of graphics acceleration hardware (modulo the media-centric embedded space, where PowerVR is currently cleaning up). In order to sell into the current Windows market with a "Vista Capable" certification, graphics hardware must ship with a WDDM driver.

    On page 109/500 of the Windows Hardware Logo Program Requirements for Devices (http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/winlog...uirements.mspx), requirement DISPLAY-0099 states that "Displays with digital inputs (for example DVI or HDMI) must support a digital monitor link protection mechanism such as HDCP". Additionally, on page 111/500 [ibid], the section GRAPHICS-0001 explicitly lists that HDCP (or at least a comparable "digital monitor link protection mechanism") is a requirement for Windows Vista Premium support. According to my understanding of these requirements, a Windows Vista driver could be created which would not mee the Premium requirements but would still meet the Vista Capable requirements, and still provide the full Aero experience; HDCP support is only required for devices explicitly sold as so-called 'Next Generation DVD' systems.

    Since AMD now competes in both the business and the performance/enthusiast markets, it is reasonable to ship parts which allow integrators to use the Premium logo. Shipping such parts requires that AMD obey the requirements imposed by the AACS, HDCP and other DRM licensing bodies. If the DRM implemented in these parts proves vulnerable to attack, not only will AMD lose the markets to which those parts appeal, they open themselves up to enormous legal liability - so enormous that, as you state, it could make it impossible for AMD to continue to operate.

    The WD driver model and the certification process imposes engineering (and therefore time-to-market, and therefore financial) penalties on diversification. The fewer parts that are shipped and the fewer sets of drivers that must be certified, the less expense the manufacturer incurs. This understandably creates financial pressure to minimize the number of unique parts shipped in any particular product generation.

    So. Where is AMD's part which includes no active AACS/HDCP hardware and no such driver component? Surely the business sector could tolerate such a part (what responsible IT department would deploy system configurations which include entire subsystems dedicated entirely to strictly-defined entertainment and content playback?); surely the gaming market could bear a part strictly optimized for that purpose (perhaps emblazoned with a large "PURE GAMING" logo to clearly mark its strengths and highlight its lack of DRM nonsense); surely AMD doesn't consider the HTPC market so large and important that creating two parts which don't explicitly serve its needs would be a financially perilous move?

    AMD has shipped an entire generation of hardware and supporting drivers which exposes the company to, by your own admission, liability so severe that it jeapordizes the viability of the company as a whole, and all signs point to the next generation repeating this commitment. AMD is a large company, and it employs very smart people: it is disingenous to suggest that as a group and as a company, AMD doesn't understand that shipping a solution based on security via obscurity is a losing battle. All it would take is a sufficiently motivated group of hackers and a few weeks of work to reverse-engineer the hardware and software components, and as you say, that would be the ball game for that whole product generation.

    Where is the fallback plan? Where is the clean, risk-free part or product line? What is the unseen sword of Damocles hanging over AMD that prevents it from making the sober, reasonable and logical initiative?

    I don't put much stock in wild conspiracies, but when I see a large, successful and smart company ignoring huge market and legal pressure in favour of doing something so obviously stupid, I can't help but suspect external pressure; and unless I'm missing something completely obvious, that kind of pressure is viewed with a very jaundiced eye by Canadian, US and international law.

    What part of this picture am I missing?

  6. #36
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    Imagine this:

    I have a file I want to keep 'Bob' from copying.

    So I encrypt it.

    However I want to allow 'Bob' to read it.

    So I give 'Bob' the hardware necessary to decrypt it, I give him software necessary to decrypt it, I give him the encrypted file, and then I give him my decryption keys.

    I then depend on the DMCA act and hope Bob isn't smart enough to figure out how to use the stuff I gave him in order to keep my information secure.

    -----------------------------

    That is, in a nutshell, describing exactly how DRM is suppose to work. Trying to make a scheme like that working is just jousting at windmills. Complete waste of time, money, and effort.

    I mean it's so mind boggling stupid and pointless that it borders on the absurdity. And because it's stupid and pointless this means that companies like AMD, which are forced by economic realities, to operate in that sort of environment are put through all sorts of expensive, stupid, and pointless limitations. All sorts of hoops they have to jump through to convince paranoid rich men that know nothing about video cards that the video cards will help protect their stupid and pointless DRM schemes.

    Unfortunately for us the people that run the major media companies have the following traits:

    A. Are completely ignorant about how encryption works as well as pretty much just all computer science in general. It's all a mystery to them, a mystery they couldn't give a shit about except that they are generally afraid of it.

    B. A shitty ton worth of money, and the ability to direct the efforts of a massive workforce to tilt at windmills.

    C. A shitty ton worth of power.

    D. The DMCA.

    E. Microsoft on their side.

    F. Have contempt for their own customers.

    G. A lot of very smart people who are good at computer science are willing to tell those media owners anything they want to hear in order to get access to that money.

    Microsoft knows that Linux and friends can't legally playback media without the blessings of major media companies. So Microsoft has encouraged these fools to think that somehow if they try to control the platform from hardware to application that it will help protect their interests.

    So to that end Microsoft has implemented signed drivers scheme for 64bit versions of Windows. Unless your drivers are signed by Microsoft they won't load into the OS.

    This is partially to protect the users from kernel-level rootkits, but mostly it's so that they can control the quality and functionality of the drivers that get loaded into Windows.

    As part of the DRM if your drivers are not considered 'safe' by Microsoft you can still have some limited functionality.. like you can playback movies at very low resolutions and such.

    If AMD pisses off Microsoft then that means that Microsoft won't allow them to playback certain media files in high-quality mode on their OS.

    This means that OEMs won't purchase AMD hardware to run their hardware. This means that OEMs that do ship AMD hardware won't be able to obtain the proper codecs and licenses necessary to support all that media.

    This means that nobody can purchase AMD video hardware anymore and AMD will be completely and totally screwed over.

    This is the legal, technical, and political realities that AMD is required to operate within.

    It's all stupid, pointless, and counter-productive, but it's what happens when you let morons run this country and they hand government powers over to greedy and rich folks like the corporations that are members of the RIAA and MPAA.
    Last edited by drag; 11-20-2008 at 03:34 AM.

  7. #37
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    The problem is here is that, people still buy DRM stuff! And that gives the "rich guys" a reason to continue this DRM crap!

    I do give AMD a full credit for the efforts for providing Open Source Drivers. I know the Binary driver have problems and everything, but at least they are giving us an alternative!! (And FGLRX works quite well after all, at least I do everything I want with it)

    For this efforts I will support this company, I just ordered a new computer and I have AMD in all the places I could put a chip from them.

    Someone just sayed and well, the power is not in the rich guys, the power is in the people that buy. If you buy AMD you're supporting AMD and all the associated efforts the company is doing, if you buy NVIDIA you're supporting a Binary blob and saying you're living happy with it. I really don't care if NVIDIA as a excelent driver in Linux, AMD does what I need and I willing to sacrifice a bit of features to continue supporting AMD. (If I do sacrifice anything at all)

    In the end, the problem is that the majority of people only care for themselfs and don't look to the big picture. This apply to all people that whinne about AMD/ATI not open source enough but are still buying NVIDIA and saying NVIDIA that you do like the blob. Maybe if ATI was full time/ full developers on the Blob you can have a blob as good as NVIDIA, but they have people on open source!

    The post is long, the english is not good...

    Continue the good work AMD/ATI, and as long you keep that effort I'll support you.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjr2k3 View Post
    In the end, the problem is that the majority of people only care for themselfs and don't look to the big picture. This apply to all people that whinne about AMD/ATI not open source enough but are still buying NVIDIA and saying NVIDIA that you do like the blob. Maybe if ATI was full time/ full developers on the Blob you can have a blob as good as NVIDIA, but they have people on open source!
    And what's NVidia's closed driver's advantages over FGLRX, except of only the ability to have non-flickering 3D apps while Compositing is in use?

    Or, if to say in in another words: "What's the advantages of NVidia's closed driver, except of refusing to follow (and to assist their development, thus) the admitted standards, such as DRI/AIGLX"? ;-)

  9. #39
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    NV has much less rendering glitches than fgrlx. You get faster updates at least for new gpus - it is not a strict monthly update scheme, which leads to more bugs because at some point testing has to be stopped and bugs will be shipped. And those bugs are definitely much more annoying than waiting a bit longer for a fixed driver. Also - at least for my systems - NV driver seems to be much more reliable. fglrx gave me LOTS of hardcrashes when switching from OSS ati to fglrx - if I would get 10€ for every crash I had while testing the driver then I would be really rich...

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mityukov View Post
    And what's NVidia's closed driver's advantages over FGLRX, except of only the ability to have non-flickering 3D apps while Compositing is in use?
    -working WINE games .
    - faster support for new kernels and Xorg
    Last edited by val-gaav; 11-20-2008 at 07:26 AM.

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