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Advanced video drivers available free for non-commercial use, testing

Jun 9, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Cross-platform video driver vendor SciTech Software has launched a program to enable non-commercial users to use its drivers at no cost. The program is supported by an online configuration portal that helps users download and install a driver configured for their systems. Supported OSes include Linux, W2K/XP, Win95/98/ME, and OS/2.

SciTech's Snap drivers represent an effort to solve the driver crisis through hardware and OS abstraction layers that enable more efficient reuse of code among drivers for a variety of hardware and OSes. The online system delivers “Personal Edition” (PE) Snap drivers that are free for home users under Scitech's non-commercial use license.

SciTech SNAP Driver Architecture

The free Snap PE drivers support only a single user-selected chipset, in contrast to Snap Enterprise drivers, which, according to SciTech, support nearly 200 different chipsets in the aim of simplifying driver administration in large enterprises. However, the PE drivers are otherwise fully functional, with advanced acceleration, custom mode support, and powerful display control.

The Snap PE driver program is supported by an online configuration portal that stores users' custom build settings and provides access to SciTech online support tools, documentation, and the latest product upgrades. Users can easily change their driver preferences, according to Scitech, if they upgrade their hardware or OS.

The portal also enables customers to upgrade to the Enterprise or Industrial Embedded editions, and helps them manage their license and support contracts, SciTech says.

“SciTech SNAP Graphics PE, and the My SciTech web service, represent a revolutionary step forward for end-users who choose to use non-traditional operating systems such as Linux, or have advanced display needs not met by mass market OEM drivers,” said Marketing Director Andrew Bloo. “This announcement will allow us to more effectively address the ever changing needs of our world-wide customer base.”

SciTech also offers a driver SDK (software development kit) for free download.

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