The Intel Open Source Technology Center graphics team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of free software drivers for the Intel® 965 Express Chipset family graphics controller. These drivers include support for 2D and 3D graphics features for the newest generation Intel graphics architecture.
As with any free software project, this release represents only the beginning of an ongoing commitment by Intel to work with the X.org and Mesa communities to continuously improve and enhance the drivers. While these drivers represent significant work at both Tungsten Graphics and Intel—as our first release of this code—they’re still in need of significant testing, tuning, and bug fixing before they will be ready for production use. We’re releasing them now to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing free software drivers for Intel hardware.
The Intel® 965 Express Chipset represents the first product family that implements fourth generation Intel graphics architecture. Designed to support advanced rendering features in modern graphics APIs, this chipset family includes support for programmable vertex, geometry, and fragment shaders. By open sourcing the drivers for this new technology, Intel enables the open source community to experiment, develop, and contribute to the continuing advancement of open source 3D graphics.
We would like to especially thank our engineering team.
Following the release of this driver, future work will continue in the public X.org and Mesa project source code repositories and with this project Web site serving as the central site for users of Intel graphics hardware in open source operating systems.
This is great news!
Intel dedicated this website to open source intel video drivers :
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update (CNET News.com) :
Intel has released open-source software to give Linux full-fledged support for 3D graphics, a move that could give its graphics chips a leg up over rivals.
Right now, Linux users typically rely on proprietary driver software if they want to use graphics acceleration chips and hardware to improve graphics performance–to speed up displays of 3D tanks in a battle video game, for example.
But this proprietary approach poses ethical, legal and practical problems. Intel sees the open-source move as a way to attract customers to its graphics products–such as its upcoming 965 Express chipset–and give it an advantage over rivals ATI Technologies and Nvidia.
“Having open-source drivers gives us a big edge in this market,” said Dirk Hohndel, chief technologist of Intel’s Open Source Technology Center. The software, available at a new Web site, is already being integrated with relevant open-source projects, he said.
I hope this puts at least a little bit of pressure on AMD and NVIDIA to eventually open up their drivers. I thought a bit about it and I don’t think they will open source their drivers unles they do it together. IMHO if they do this then they will both produce drivers which are more powerful, more secure and more stable in the long run (for all platforms). They can still compete on the hardware front ofcourse.
update 2 :
I found a (unconfirmed) list of hardware which will work with this new driver here