Linus Torvalds has had some harsh words for Nvidia in the past. Their failure to work constructively with the Linux community is especially disappointing in light of the company’s large presence in the Android market. That said, where there is life, there is change, and that is just what happened yesterday. Torvalds publicly gave a thumbs-up to Nvidia for posting early open source drivers for the recently released Nvidia K1 processor; something that was totally unexpected but received with open arms.
The K1 is Nvidia’s 192 core processor that was announced at CES this year, and it’s their attempt to claim dominance of the Android eco system, and not only that, but also their key to entering other markets like the traditional PC and laptop spaces as chip makers. The Nouvea project, which is basically an effort to decipher Nvidia’s graphics drivers for Linux received a gift from Nvidia’s Japanese division in the form of a post revealing their initial Linux support for the K1. The poster, Alexandre Courbot, took the time to explain that it was not yet fully functional, but that it was a work in progress.
This move from Nvidia is a huge one, and it highlights their apparent change of direction. If they are to be as successful as they would like, they would need to embrace the Linux community which, as we all know, has been adding new partners rapidly. ARM processors are showing up in laptops and desktops, and I would not be surprised to see Nvidia add further Open source support in the near future. It’s an exiting time to be a fan of technology and open-source in particular. The only difficulty we have is pinpointing the next moves of the industry’s main players, but hopefully they will be positive ones.
Sources: Nouveau Project