[linux-elitists] NVidia and SGI (was Re: Laptop that doesn't suck?)

Tanner Lovelace lovelace@trilug.org
Mon Jan 19 14:51:36 PST 2004

Jason Spence wrote:

> In defense of NVidia: SGI owns a buttload of 3-D patents on various
> things, and it's rather difficult to put together a hardware
> accelerated OpenGL implementation that performs at competitive speeds
> AND includes all the SGI_* ARB extensions without paying off SGI and
> using the IP.  As a result, NVidia has very little choice except to
> make some of the kernel parts of their driver closed source.  So if
> we're going to complain to anyone, it should be SGI, not NVidia.
> There's also another vendor that owns a bunch of IP which NVidia
> licenses, but I can't remember their name right now.

I was under the impression that all of this had been taken care
of years ago when SGI and NVidia settled their patent infringement
suit.  NVidia got the rights to use a lot of SGI's stuff after that
in addition to getting a lot of SGI engineers.  (SGI got, well, I'm
not sure I want to go there...).

SGI has been fairly proactive about open sourcing most everything
they can.   When I was there, several years ago, I was told they
were going through all the code they had looking for stuff they
could open source.  Pretty much the only stuff they weren't opening
was stuff that was tied up in licenses and some other stuff which
they actually made money on (Performer comes to mind).

Tanner Lovelace
Tanner Lovelace |  lovelace(at)trilug.org  | http://www.trilug.org/
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