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Thread: If You Forgot, S3 Graphics Does Linux Drivers Too

  1. #11
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    To paraphrase the title...

    If You Forgot, S3 Graphics Holds Back Gaming On Open Drivers Too.

    (a lot of games do not work without S3TC)

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Unfortunately, this will never happen. S3 makes a lot of money out of this patent and will milk it to death (unless it folds and someone more OSS-friendly buys it - which is rather unlikely).
    What they could do is to follow what IBM did with a number of its patents a while back and allow free use of the patent but ONLY in software that is GPL/open source. Hardware vendors (who aren't exactly going to GPL the hardware designs for their GPUs) and those producing closed-source drivers for any platform still have to pay.

    Good PR boost with likely little-to-no loss of revenue if I understand what S3TC is and how its used (most people writing OSS drivers and supporting S3TC arent exactly paying S3 for it and those using S3TC in their hardware or closed-source drivers aren't suddenly going to go open source just so they can take advantage of a patent license)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonwil View Post
    What they could do is to follow what IBM did with a number of its patents a while back and allow free use of the patent but ONLY in software that is GPL/open source. Hardware vendors (who aren't exactly going to GPL the hardware designs for their GPUs) and those producing closed-source drivers for any platform still have to pay.

    Good PR boost with likely little-to-no loss of revenue if I understand what S3TC is and how its used (most people writing OSS drivers and supporting S3TC arent exactly paying S3 for it and those using S3TC in their hardware or closed-source drivers aren't suddenly going to go open source just so they can take advantage of a patent license)
    Yes, that would solve the issue neatly and generate free publicity for S3.

    Unfortunately, S3 is one of "those companies" that would rather die than have anything to do with open-source software.

  4. #14
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    S3 still make graphics chipsets?

  5. #15
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    today i got an 'VIA VN800' based notebook for free,,.

    now i unterstand how bad via/s3 really are...

    kubuntu 11.04 starts on 1600x1200 vesa mode but the notebook can only handle 1200x800

    and if i chance the resolution in the kde controll center the screen corrupts.

  6. #16
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    Q, try Luc's unichrome driver as well.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marek View Post
    To paraphrase the title...

    If You Forgot, S3 Graphics Holds Back Gaming On Open Drivers Too.

    (a lot of games do not work without S3TC)
    S3TC is patented, PRed by them and preventing usage in opensource drivers everywhere. I wonder why the god is OPEN gl so heavily depending on closed source, single vendor, patented solution. Look at MP3 vs Vorbis.

    Via is not only crappy, they are getting in the way.

    It would be sooo much better if "no games depend on S3TC".

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    S3TC is patented, PRed by them and preventing usage in opensource drivers everywhere. I wonder why the god is OPEN gl so heavily depending on closed source, single vendor, patented solution. Look at MP3 vs Vorbis.

    Via is not only crappy, they are getting in the way.

    It would be sooo much better if "no games depend on S3TC".
    Actually, it wouldn't matter since floating-point textures are also patented (by SGI). This basically means that modern rendering techniques cannot be implemented at all on the open-source drivers.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Actually, it wouldn't matter since floating-point textures are also patented (by SGI). This basically means that modern rendering techniques cannot be implemented at all on the open-source drivers.
    I think it means more "current modern rendering techiques suck badly".
    Analogue to mp3 vs ogg vorbis; and many modern devices do play ogg and it is still considered one of the best bitrate-to-quality formats, unlike mp3.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    I think it means more "current modern rendering techiques suck badly".
    Analogue to mp3 vs ogg vorbis; and many modern devices do play ogg and it is still considered one of the best bitrate-to-quality formats, unlike mp3.
    You cannot do proper HDR, high-quality shadows or ambient occlusion without floating-point textures. Moreover, you cannot implement deferred rendering which is quite a big loss in terms of visual potential.

    Ogg is technically superior to mp3. Unfortunately, there's no such alternative to floating-point textures. These patents confine Mesa to early R300/400 (~7 years old) graphical capabilities and guarantee that things like Unigine won't be able to run there at all.

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