I thought it would be interesting to sum up which 3D hardware could be supported in a future release of Haiku.
One thing goes without saying, unfortunately: companies won’t write drivers for us by themselves. So it will depend on a) there already being open source drivers (for Linux) or b) those companie’s willingness to hand out the necessary documentation - even under NDA (and c), of course there being good and competent souls who’d be willing to write all those drivers).
I’ll try to recall what I’ve heard (or think I have heard) about graphics hardware companies in the past in this regard:
0.) I think there has already been 3D accelleration for 3dfx’s Voodoo5 chipset - but, well that doesn’t matter much these days.
Now for companies that have products on store shelves these days:
1.) Nvidia - does not cooperate in any way (i.e. not hand out any chip specifications whatsoever). At least that’s what I remember being said - did Rudolf Cornelissen get any help from them for his Nvidia driver?
2.) ATI - hands out register level specifications to some degree, but AFAIK only for the 2D part of the chip (so Thomas Kurschel could write his Radeon driver). Also, there has been a limited 3D accellerated driver for the fixed pipeline part (non-pixel/vertex-shader) of the R100/R200 generation of 3D chips for the Linux operating system.
3.) Imagination Technologies - the creators of the PowerVR 3D chips. Don’t have any standalone graphics cards on the market at moment, but IIRC Intel has licensed a new version of ImgTech’s 3D core for integration in an upcoming chipset. Years ago I read one employee’s comment on a message board that they wouldn’t hand out hardware documentation at all, and now that they are only licensing IP cores to third parties such as Intel that’s even less likely, IMO
4.) S3 - I have read a comment somewhere that they had open sourced a driver for their discontinued Savage 3D chip, but don’t know whether they are willing to hand out documentation for their latest product generation named DeltaChrome
5.) Same goes for a less known company named XGI - they actually make Linux drivers for their “Volari” 3D chip - don’t know whether anyone ever tried to contact them for specifications. Although, as a general impression, some Asian companies seem to be more open towards alternative operating systems (remember DrayTek’s MiniVigor (a USB ISDN device) driver for BeOS some years ago) than those in America and Europe, so maybe there are chances…
Any other options?