Open-source Linux drivers for Tegra chips unlock 3D capability

Think Tegra is only for smartphones and tablets? Think again! New third-party drivers — which have been developed both with Nvidia's blessing and assistance — will help to give the platform a foot in the server room door.

Third-party open-source drivers that unlock the 3D capability of Nvidia's Tegra processors have been released.

Image: Nvidia

The drivers, developed by a team from Avionic Design led by Thierry Reding, build upon an earlier driver project that gave developers access to the Tegra's gr2d engine. This project has had both the blessing of and backing from Nvidia.

"This small series of patches adds support for the 3D engine found on Nvidia Tegra SoCs," wrote Reding. "It builds on top of Terje's and Arto's host1x and gr2d patches. A couple of things still need to be done before this can be merged, though."

Nvidia has promised to open source its drivers, but progress has been slow and glacially slow thus far.

While these drivers are far from finished, they do provide a foundation on which other developers can build upon.

Open-source Linux drivers for Tegra silicon pave the way for the hardware to be leveraged in low-power server environments. This is good for Nvidia, since the company is betting on Tegra hardware as being the driver for significant revenue growth over the coming years. Getting this hardware supported by Linux is a step in the right direction and should help give it a foot in the server room door.

It is likely that 3D Tegra support will be rolled into the Linux 3.10 kernel.

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