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Thread: Reverse-Engineering Could Yield A Linux NV "PerfKit"

  1. #1
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    Default Reverse-Engineering Could Yield A Linux NV "PerfKit"

    Phoronix: Reverse-Engineering Could Yield A Linux NV "PerfKit"

    Samuel Pitoiset of the Nouveau driver project, and the student who was participating in this year's Google Summer of Code, has made great progress in understanding and documenting NVIDIA's "NV50" GPUs performance counters...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ3OTY

  2. #2

    Default Add this to the list of things we want documentation for..............

    NVIDIA To Begin Publishing Open GPU Documentation

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTQ2NzY

    as they seek to assist the Nouveau graphics driver developers in writing a full open-source 3D Linux graphics driver for GeForce GPUs.
    .......... Until their entire documentation stacks are out here in the wild for the benefit of us all!!!


  3. #3
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    If I'm reading this right, this is a tool separate from drivers, right? What is stopping NVIDIA releasing something like this themselves? Would it give away too much of the architecture?

    Either way, I'm glad there is progress. Well done to everyone who put in the hard yards. I want to believe that NVIDIA want to make progress.

  4. #4
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    NV50 = GeForce 8000-series through GT300 series for those who can't keep track

    Quote Originally Posted by halfmanhalfamazing View Post
    tired image
    It was funnier the first 50,000 times I saw it. Give it a rest...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverusiv View Post
    If I'm reading this right, this is a tool separate from drivers, right? What is stopping NVIDIA releasing something like this themselves? Would it give away too much of the architecture?
    This kind of tool tends to be highly hardware specific, and can tell someone a lot about the underlying architecture. Just knowing what some of these registers are measuring is considered top secret, not only by NVidia but also AMD and even Intel.

  6. #6
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    It makes me wonder a few things;
    1) Shouldn't patent/copyright/whateverthefark law protect them enough that open sourcing tools like this would be free from theft?
    2) I'd be incredibly interested to know what kind of patents/secrets they have and how similar each companies take on it is. I would pmsl if they were all doing pretty much the same thing and trying so hard to hide it from each other.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    It was funnier the first 50,000 times I saw it. Give it a rest...
    And yet I still giggle every time I see it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverusiv View Post
    It makes me wonder a few things;
    1) Shouldn't patent/copyright/whateverthefark law protect them enough that open sourcing tools like this would be free from theft?
    2) I'd be incredibly interested to know what kind of patents/secrets they have and how similar each companies take on it is. I would pmsl if they were all doing pretty much the same thing and trying so hard to hide it from each other.
    When you write "free from theft", do you mean copying the software tool in question or copying the hardware design? If it's the former, then this hypothetical open sourcing of the tool in question would let anyone copy it freely, so the question answers itself. If it's the later, then the answer to that is, "only if those doing the copying get caught." If they keep their designs secret, and do not open source their equivalents of tools like the one in question, then they won't get caught, right?

  9. #9
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    Default This is great!

    Graphics development in linux is becoming increasingly interesting

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel/GitHub
    After some week of hard work, I have succeeded in documenting most of these signals.
    However, some of them (like vertex_shader_busy for example) are still currently not understandable
    for me but Iíll try to do this task as soon as possible.
    Well, he should challenge NVIDIA by their words and ask on the Nouveau mailing list.
    Nice work, BTW.

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