Earlier this month, NVIDIA, the US maker of processors, cards, graphics chips, and game consoles announced the open source licensing of part of its NVAPI SDK. NVAPI is NVIDIA’s core software development kit that provides direct access to NVIDIA GPUs (graphics processors) and drivers on all Windows platforms. Initially, this SDK was only exposed to manufacturers of game development tools and equipment.

Also, to allow all developers to take advantage of NVIDIA GPUs, the company has opted for the MIT licensing of part of this software development kit. So whether you’re designing games or applications with or without a GUI, it’s now possible for developers to have full access to NVIDIA drivers and GPUs.

According to NVIDIA, its NVAPI SDK is superior to the DirectX and OpenGL graphics APIs, as it supports categories of operations that go beyond the scope of those found in the latter.

As proof, NVIDIA highlights the following features that are accessible through its SDK:

  • Driver management: initialization and driver version checks;
  • GPU management: enumeration of physical and logical GPUs, thermal and cooling controls;
  • Display management: enumeration of NVIDIA displays, display position and timing controls;
  • GPU topology: Ability to enable SLI and hybrid GPU topologies. This requires the NDA edition for full control of this functionality;
  • Image rendering: ability to control video and DX rendering not available in DX runtime. It requires the NDA edition for full control of this functionality.
  • System management: possibility of querying information specific to the chipset and the system;
  • HDTV controls: HDTV format and overscan functionality controls. This requires the NDA edition for full control of this functionality;
  • Video controls: Extensive video engine controls. This requires the NDA edition for full control of this functionality;
  • Connection and configuration of monitors: possibility to define views on several target monitors;
  • GPU Overclocking: GPU overclocking APIs allow applications to run applications at maximum possible clocks. This requires the NDA edition for full control of this functionality.

With the MIT licensing of this NVAPI SDK, NVIDIA is taking a small step towards open source. For developers, this is already good, hoping the company will continue to take this approach as the base model for its products.

Source : NVIDIA

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