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Thread: NVIDIA's Optimus: Will It Come To Linux?

  1. #21
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    Extended post, sorry!

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Ugh, hasn't it passed your mind that that current technology may not afford a high-end passively-cooled card, low idle power 48xx cards and netbook CPU/GPUs? Power consumption was actually fixed in 58xx, netbook-level CPUs sheduled for late 2010 / early 2011 and passive high-end cards... well, they aren't possible. You cannot dissipate 200W without a fan in the confines of a desktop case.
    Well, the 3870 was AMDs highend card when I bought it, low idle power has to be a constraint when designing a card (AMD proved years before with the low idle power of athlon64 compared to PentiumIV that it is important and possible), netbook-level CPUs are scheduled YEARS after needed ( a single core K10 would beat any atom plus a 780G you have HD decoding possiblity) and Intel is dominating the mobile market for how long? Any REAL competitor for the centrino platform anywhere? AMD must be blind not to see this (or did Intel patented low power CPUs?) Hint: A PC like Dells Studio with HD capabilities at a low price (like 250$).AMD has the CPUs and they have chipsets. What hinders them to build such a PC?
    I mean, it's crazy - do you think AMD wouldn't sell netbook CPUs if it could? Designing this stuff takes time and there's only so much AMD can do with its current resources. It's a great company, but it's not Intel.
    That's the point! I don't know why AMD has no competitive product in the mobile sectors for years, why they only sell the new 25W CPUs to OEMs, why they did not sell the 3800+ X2 EE SFF at its time to normal people, why they release a graphic card with horrible idle power, why they release graphic cards with broken power management, why they advertise the phenom I as the "uber overclocking CPU at 4 Ghz" month before release, why they advertise the Phenom II as the uber overclocking CPU at 7(?) Ghz, but not being able to deliver 4Ghz stock CPUs, etc. pp.

    Don't ask me! Ask AMD!
    And the decision of selling CPUs only to a specific group is PURE marketing (ok, a little tech stuff, when they aren't able to produce enough)!

    PS: Sorry for moving the thread in a wrong direction.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasenpfote View Post
    Well, it seems that the customer is not the important role in this industry. It's like with a programmer, his program and the user. The user does ALWAYS disturb.
    Depends where you are looking within the supply chain. A grossly simplified view of the PC industry from a silicon perspective is

    IHV -> OEM -> End User

    Each side of the arrow has a supplier and and a consumer. The customer is the consumer. Even the retail channel is skewed slightly since there is an AIB in between there too. It's *REALLY* hard to by a direct Graphics board for any vendor.

    Reflecting the to a more concrete example. For the AIB, just swap HP for XFX.

    ATI -> HP -> You.

    It's still the same relationships. Now abstracting that out from the ATI perspective, we have...

    Seller -> Customer -> End User.

    There isn't much of a direct relationship between the Seller and the End User. Obviously there is an ecosystem that exists where the Seller considers the sell through or pull to the End User, but that is more or less noise when it comes down to the OEM agreements and the dynamics in the market place (There was an inquirer article today that indicated in some channels there is at least a 20:1 ratio of AMD:NVIDIA products sold, that is an absolute inversion just driven by a calender lag between competing products.

    So now through in some more juice into the competitive picture (as per Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy, most companies will compete within one, possibly two of the follow domains.

    Price, Quality. Features

    The OEM -> End User part of the picture pretty much exists on the Price/Quality perspective. Which means that the margins are low, the features are secondary and the OEMs position themselves by primarily tweaking quality with the associated costs increase.

    Now for the IHV -> OEM channel it's typically Quality/Features. There is a spec to be fulfilled and a fairly small playing field to meet the products requirements.

    This impedance mismatch forces the IHV to create features that directly feed into the price sensitivity of the OEM. Which fundamentally means that if you are different or small market, you are expensive to support so you get pushed out of the picture. In our world, this comes down to the fact that Linux doesn't fit into the OEM's requirements so it gets pushed out of the equation for the IHV doesn't create the OEM centric features for Linux.

    Now the reason for the existence of Solaris and Linux drivers within the GPU space is fairly simple. It is either the markets where the GPU vendors have direct interaction with their End User (ie: Enterprise or Embedded), or the markets where the OEM needs to eject the double digit percentage of Windows from their devices.

    In the case of the low end of the market, to reduce the cost of having Linux, you get dumbed down, singular purpose devices.


    ...
    So where in this list is the customer?
    You are there, it's just the other 99 of the people beside you looking for a Windows PC make you a very tiny voice. Just big enough to be heard (ie: drivers exist), but too small to have any direct impact.

    What can I do as customer to get what I want? Buying AMD?
    You get it from finding a vendor that has you within the customer profile. ZaReason, System76 come to mind. As OEM's they are tiny in the big picture, so they end up being more expensive since they fulfill the niche through their own engineering and work.

    Fun Rant, I step down now...

    Matthew

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Asus did, I did, every dad with a teenage daughter probably did never underestimate the "cute" factor when it comes to a teenage girls wants.
    I think Asus was actually as surprised as everyone else at the way the market exploded, they were thinking it would be more of a niche that they could fill. Anyway, even if they did would you really want to bet the company on that happening? AMD was having severe cash flow problems around that time, and losing a billion dollar bet wouldn't have been good.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    ...

    I mean, it's crazy - do you think AMD wouldn't sell netbook CPUs if it could? Designing this stuff takes time and there's only so much AMD can do with its current resources. It's a great company, but it's not Intel.

    ...
    Be wary of the race to the bottom.

    Intel did have a product that suited the market that evolved. Suddenly though Intel found that their low margin, low cost chip was eclipsing sales of the higher margin more expensive chips.

    Consequently Intel went through a few bad quarters as the Netbook craze took hold. Way lower margins, way lower revenue. For Intel, I would have expected that it is a market they were dieing to get out of.

    Look at Intel's current position of Atom

    http://www.intel.com/technology/arch...chitecture.htm - A sideline.
    http://www.intel.com/consumer/products/processors/ - A processor that's positioned lower than basic.

    My HTPC disagrees, it's a great lightweight general processor. But each sale of an Atom really hurts intel. Netbook processors for the PC market is BAD money to go after.

    They are taking their lumps with Atom, since they can't let anyone else begin to get a beach-head (ARM, MIPS, VIA) within the PC space.

    Regards,

    Matthew

  5. #25
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    Thank you Matthew for your answer
    I understood that there is always someone between the hardware manufactor and the consumer. But isn't it possible, that AMD goes to ASUS/Gigabyte/whoever and says "Let's try somethin new! We have a Single Core Athlon, we have a 780G chipset, let's build a tiny mITX-PC for 200$ (with Blueray drive for 300$), passivly cooled, which can easily bring HD movies to a TV and needs 10% of the idle power of the PS3 (btw: PS3 takes 177W idle!)"

    Quote Originally Posted by mtippett View Post
    ZaReason, System76 come to mind.
    System76 Merkat looks REALLY nice! Thanky you

  6. #26
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    But each sale of an Atom really hurts intel.
    In the sense that every Atom sale is a lost (higher-margin) CULV Core sale, certainly. However, they should still be making a (small) profit, while keeping competitors out.

    Besides, isn't AMD getting ready to enter this market itself? (Ars Technica: Llano, CPU+GPU, down to 2.5W per core. Significantly more powerful than Atom, if at a power disadvantage. Sounds like a good fit.)

  7. #27
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    Back to the topic of the thread, I really doubt this will be seen in linux. From what I have read on it, it seems to depend on profiling of applications. SLi profiling hasn't come to linux so I doubt this will either.

  8. #28
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    Nvidia's Optimus Technology isn't going to work with Linux because it specifically uses Windows 7's driver model. So it won't work on Windows Vista and older either!

    This is a Windows 7 only thing for now.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiebear View Post
    Nvidia's Optimus Technology isn't going to work with Linux because it specifically uses Windows 7's driver model. So it won't work on Windows Vista and older either!

    This is a Windows 7 only thing for now.
    welcome to phoronix. and thanks for the tip .

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiebear View Post
    Nvidia's Optimus Technology isn't going to work with Linux because it specifically uses Windows 7's driver model. So it won't work on Windows Vista and older either!

    This is a Windows 7 only thing for now.
    I believe that windows 7 shares the driver model with vista. Hence the horrible graphics crashes seen in the beginning of vista's release.

    Either way the vista driver model is much more advanced than osx and linux, that there is no way this would come to linux. That and the fact that it would require the nvidia driver to load the intel driver (which now resides in the kernel (mode setting etc.)

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