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Thread: Android AOSP Leader Quits Over Binary GPU Drivers

  1. #21
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    The problem with Qualcomm is that they are too good. They pretty much own the American market because of their radio support. They're in every high-end Android phone it seems like and are in the Nokias. Other than Apple, everyone else is just going for the scraps.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcirsta View Post
    This will all be history soon when the new 22nm Atoms arrive and blow all this ARM stuff out of the water as far as performance goes. Don't get me wrong, I like ARM and I'm no fan of Intel and x86 but this has gone on for long enough. No open source drivers for ARM GPUs, custom kernels and bootloaders for ARM and so on.
    The 22nm Atoms will change all this as they will have Intel open source GPUs with Intel finally dropping those crappy PowerVR GPUs they used in Atoms. ARM will feel the pressure for the first time and they can make some changes ( they already started some unification work in the kernel with DTS and all that ) and open source the Mali drivers or at least provide documentation or they can just sit while I and others buy Intel powered smartphones and tablets.
    I wouldn't be so sure. The Motorola "Razr i" has an atom soc and didn't even get CM ported to it yet. This phone sounds like the best one to run ubuntu for phones, due to the x86 cpu being able to run mainstream kernel, but no support either.

    The fact is that arm is not only sufficiently powerfull and low power, but also very cheap and Intel is yet to market an LTE modem, so no US phone will sport Inel chips anytime soon. Intel will have to really lower its margins and launch a goos integrated LTE modem to really steal qualcomm's thunder.

    On the bright side, it seems like ARMv8 will solve most of the fragmented kernel thing that currently plagues arm socs...

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcirsta View Post
    This will all be history soon when the new 22nm Atoms arrive and blow all this ARM stuff out of the water as far as performance goes. Don't get me wrong, I like ARM and I'm no fan of Intel and x86 but this has gone on for long enough. No open source drivers for ARM GPUs, custom kernels and bootloaders for ARM and so on.
    The 22nm Atoms will change all this as they will have Intel open source GPUs with Intel finally dropping those crappy PowerVR GPUs they used in Atoms. ARM will feel the pressure for the first time and they can make some changes ( they already started some unification work in the kernel with DTS and all that ) and open source the Mali drivers or at least provide documentation or they can just sit while I and others buy Intel powered smartphones and tablets.
    ARMv8 is supposed to solve the fragmentation problem by introducing standardization. You're supposed to be able to run the same kernel on any ARMv8 platform.

    Also, even if intel/x86 has better performance, it's doubtful if they can compete with ARM in price. ARM has a simpler architecture, with less legacy cruft, and their power consumption is still way ahead of x86.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by uid313 View Post
    I understand why he quits.

    The reason to buy a Nexus device is that it is you get the Google experience, it's open, you can have root, etc.
    If the Nexus devices are proprietary then that sucks.

    I think Google should have never partnered with Qualcomm, they should have continued with Nvidia or went with whoever is the most open source friendly.
    It's a shame that Intel and AMD are not competitive in the mobile ARM space, both could build on their existing open source GPU drivers.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Well, last time I checked, Qualcomm Atheros was still the best option in terms of Linux-friendly network devices.
    What? I seriously hope you're joking here, dude. Because if you're serious, then... I don't even know where to start telling you how wrong you are. Atheros is the worst pile of shit that has ever tried to look like it could do networking. Especially when it comes to Linux.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by prodigy_ View Post
    What? I seriously hope you're joking here, dude. Because if you're serious, then... I don't even know where to start telling you how wrong you are. Atheros is the worst pile of shit that has ever tried to look like it could do networking. Especially when it comes to Linux.
    Hmm? I've had problems with everything else, but never with ath9k. It works out of the box and doesn't even need any firmware.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Figueiredo View Post
    I'm not a developer so I may be wrong here, but I though the worst thing about android is that it requires a custom kernel to support every single device. It must be frustrating to maintain an entire stack that talks to hundreds or thousands of shitty vendor hacked and buggy kernels. Google will surely have to sort this mess some time right? Maybe with ARMv8?
    You're right. Only starting with kernel 3.7 Linux and Android will be able to use one kernel for multiple ARM-based devices. So far Android is only using kernel 3.4 in Android 4.3, but it's rumored to use at least 3.8, or hopefully even the 3.10 (long term) kernel, so starting with KLP, Android kernels should support multiple devices, and make it easier for OEM's to upgrade their own devices, and also for CyanogenMod to port to more devices faster.

    Also I expect the ARMv8 kernels to be a lot more unified in the near future.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by prodigy_ View Post
    What? I seriously hope you're joking here, dude. Because if you're serious, then... I don't even know where to start telling you how wrong you are. Atheros is the worst pile of shit that has ever tried to look like it could do networking. Especially when it comes to Linux.
    I too disagree with this. Ath5k is the most reliable wireless on linux I've ever used.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figueiredo View Post
    I wouldn't be so sure. The Motorola "Razr i" has an atom soc and didn't even get CM ported to it yet. This phone sounds like the best one to run ubuntu for phones, due to the x86 cpu being able to run mainstream kernel, but no support either.

    The fact is that arm is not only sufficiently powerfull and low power, but also very cheap and Intel is yet to market an LTE modem, so no US phone will sport Inel chips anytime soon. Intel will have to really lower its margins and launch a goos integrated LTE modem to really steal qualcomm's thunder.

    On the bright side, it seems like ARMv8 will solve most of the fragmented kernel thing that currently plagues arm socs...

    The intel atom socs up to now had the powerVr graphics; but the next atom batch will have ivy bridge graphic cores , and the whole intel stack is open source, from kernel to mesa.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sireangelus View Post
    The intel atom socs up to now had the powerVr graphics; but the next atom batch will have ivy bridge graphic cores , and the whole intel stack is open source, from kernel to mesa.
    Yes, but ubuntu phone is able to use the android blob driver. Also, these devices don't have bioses that can let you boot from external memory and install a new operating system. Someone has to unlock the damn thing linke what CWM does by some black magic i don't realy understand. Also, even if you get to install a mainstrem linux on them, the device's "periferals", such as giroscopes, cameras, modem, gps and so on also need drivers.

    Obviously there is some way to accomplish all of the abov, CM is proof of it, but that only happens on very popular devices which have high developer interest. Thus, unless intel wins some really high profile designs, I wouldn't expect much.

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