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Nvidia coder primes Optimus for Linux

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Nvidia's Optimus GPU switching technology may be coming to Linux.

Nvidia coder Aaron Plattner and a team of software developers has conjured up a working "proof of concept" that ties Nvidia's technology into the X Window RandR extension, allowing the display image to be selectively rendered on a laptop's Nvidia GPU and on a modern Intel CPU's on-chip graphics core.

Why switch? To leverage the Nvidia GPU's performance when it's needed but flip over to the lesser chip to conserve power when graphics grunt isn't required.

All well and good, if it works. Plattner's code does so but there are a number of implementation issues to solve before a release can be considered, and he's been reaching out to the Linux community for guidance.

Clearly, the company has taken to heart Linus Torvalds' irritation with it for not bringing Optimus to Linux in the past and failing to support the operating system based on his kernel - daft, he says, given the Linux-derived Android has been helping sales of Nvidia's Tegra processors. ®

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