Nvidia adds Tegra K1 support to Nouveau open source driver

Nvidia contributed code to the open source driver Nouveau, which is being developed by volunteers to help Linux operating systems support GeForce cards. It concerns proof-of-concept code for the GPU of the upcoming mobile Tegra K1.

The patch for Nouveau should be seen as a very first step to power future Tegra GPUs with the software and the support is still very basic. This is reported by Nvidia’s Alexandre Courbot on the Direct Rendering Infrastructure mailing list, as Phoronix pointed out. “The GK20A is the Kepler architecture-based GPU used in the upcoming Tegra K1 chip. The patches include changes to Nouveau needed to support non-PCI GPUs and provide early support for GK20A.”

Courbot says that Nvidia is supporting the work on Nouveau and that more engineers at the manufacturer will use their knowledge. With the announcement, Nvidia is fulfilling its promise from last year to be more open about its GPU architecture so that the developers of the open source Nouveau drivers can write better code for Linux operating systems.

Nvidia announced the Tegra K1 in January. The chip’s key feature is that it is the company’s first soc to include a Kepler-based GPU, the architecture that forms the basis of the company’s desktop cards. The 32-bit version of the Tegra K1 has four Cortex A15 processor cores at 2.3GHz and a fifth, lower-clocked Cortex A15 core for power-saving tasks. The 64-bit version is a dual-core with an Nvidia-designed 64-bit core based on the ARMv8 architecture, with a maximum clock speed of 2.5GHz.