November 23rd, 2005

face

ATI YOU SELL CHIPS!!! NOT DRIVERS!!!

I noticed someone making a point on /. about the fact that no 3D card with DirectX9 capabilities as had any sort of specifications released for it to open source developers.

And thinking about it, it seems like a very valid point, ATI stopped even talking to 3D open source developers with the r300 chips.

Am I being paranoid or are MS involved, in a totally non-monopoly crushing all opposition fashion, the alignment of DirectX9 functionality and lack of specs is a bit iffy alright.

Also I've just discovered that I have information about the r300 cards under NDA, via a Windows register explorer utility supplied by ATI to OEMs, I don't have any documents just some text files the application loads which maps register names to register addresses. I'm not even sure they could be considered secret anymore as the r300 project has already RE most of them and a lot of them are available via the r200 header files.

It places me in a slightly precarious position in the future with respect to the r300 driver project, the r200 XvMC should be okay as I reverse engineered that before I ever even seen the register explorer utility.

I just find it a very unusual business decision for a company who makes their money selling chips to want to stop people from using those chips in situations that ATIs closed-source driver don't support, i.e. Linux on PPC, 3D graphics without 2D framework (mesa-solo). In case you missed it ATI *YOU SELL CHIPS NOT DRIVERS*.

I'm just reminded of the Simpsons when Kodos and Kang take over the two nominees for US president, "so who else you going to vote for? its a two party system! Perot?"
in this case ATI/Nvidia are the two parties with Intel the Perot, Intel do mostly the right thing with respect to their drivers (they are open), but they have no power :-)