[i]So you either
a) get drivers written by people who don't know anything about the chip, or
b) the GPU manufacturer has to release lots of details about the hardware that they'd really rather keep confidential for commercial reasons
I don't think anyone would want (a), as for (b), well that's intellectual property for you. [/b]
Well, technically, the manufacturer doesn't have to explicitly release any details. Just the source code for the drivers. Sure, you COULD infer the details of the hardware from the source, but how realistic is that? What I want to know is how real is the risk of releasing the the source? Are there any real cases of competitors using driver source code to copy or or clone the hardware itself? Or is it all just a bunch of corporate paranoia?