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PowerVR preps Kyro Linux drivers

But will it release the source code?

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PowerVR, the company behind the PowerVR Series 3 graphics chip, better known as the Kyro and Kyro II, is developing Linux drivers for the part.

The only trouble: it can't make up its mind whether it should release them under an open source licence.

The drivers are an off-shoot of the company's Linux development work for the embedded versions of its PowerVR family of graphics processors, spokesman David Harold told The Register.

So will the drivers be open source? "That's a question that gets asked inside PowerVR as much as we're asked it by others," said Harold. So far the company hasn't decided.

At issue is the need to keep part of the technology closed in order to meet the needs of embedded application developers, many of whom are happy to use a certain open source operating system but want to retain control of other code components.

The same problem faced real-time OS developer QNX when it opened the source code to elements of its own OS - in order to allow licensees to keep key aspects of their software proprietary, it had to keep part of its software closed too.

Still, Linux users who want to use cut-price Kyro graphics cards can at least download PowerVR's recently released public SDK and hack away at drivers themselves. ®

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