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  • The Truth About AMD's Development Cycle

    so does the linux team have some deadlines for their drivers? i mean deadlines like e.g. 10th of may, instead of 1 release/month :]

    hmm this release is a bit dissapointing. i suppose they're focusing on R600 support more than anything else now. if the documents shown are true, that is.

  • #2
    Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
    so does the linux team have some deadlines for their drivers? i mean deadlines like e.g. 10th of may, instead of 1 release/month :]

    hmm this release is a bit dissapointing. i suppose they're focusing on R600 support more than anything else now. if the documents shown are true, that is.
    Interesting question... Well, if the higher-ups at AMD grant Phoronix permission, we will be telling the truth to their monthly driver development cycle.
    Michael Larabel
    http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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    • #3
      What truth? The driver is always older like the Windows' one is from the 2nd of february.

      I'm wondering what the 1200 lines of code do...

      Comment


      • #4
        Okay, here is the scoop. AMD has granted Phoronix permission to publish an article tentatively titled ATI/AMD's Development Method Exposed or The Truth About ATI/AMD's Development Cycle.

        This article will tell what really goes into each driver release. With month's where there are not many end-user changes in the official change-log, there really are more changes than what you may actually see. Many users take for granted how much work actually goes into each driver release. In this article we will clear up all of these myths and misconceptions about the fglrx driver and their monthly release plans.

        Since last year when AMD announced its intent to acquire ATI Technologies, there have been countless rumors about how this would affect the development of the drivers and what repercussions may be seen as a result. Well, in this article we will be telling you the straight facts about the changes being made. To keep you salivating until this article is published, AMD has made the strategic decision to make Linux part of their unified development cycle. But you'll have to wait for the article to see what this entails .

        I am still in the process of receiving all of the information from AMD, but hopefully this article will be ready for your reading pleasure by early March.

        Whether you are a Windows or Linux user, this should be a very interesting read.
        Michael Larabel
        http://www.michaellarabel.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          I am still in the process of receiving all of the information from AMD, but hopefully this article will be ready for your reading pleasure by early March.

          Whether you are a Windows or Linux user, this should be a very interesting read.
          Indeed. I'm looking forward to it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            Okay, here is the scoop. AMD has granted Phoronix permission to publish an article tentatively titled ATI/AMD's Development Method Exposed or The Truth About ATI/AMD's Development Cycle.

            This article will tell what really goes into each driver release. With month's where there are not many end-user changes in the official change-log, there really are more changes than what you may actually see. Many users take for granted how much work actually goes into each driver release. In this article we will clear up all of these myths and misconceptions about the fglrx driver and their monthly release plans.

            Since last year when AMD announced its intent to acquire ATI Technologies, there have been countless rumors about how this would affect the development of the drivers and what repercussions may be seen as a result. Well, in this article we will be telling you the straight facts about the changes being made. To keep you salivating until this article is published, AMD has made the strategic decision to make Linux part of their unified development cycle. But you'll have to wait for the article to see what this entails .

            I am still in the process of receiving all of the information from AMD, but hopefully this article will be ready for your reading pleasure by early March.

            Whether you are a Windows or Linux user, this should be a very interesting read.
            You know Michael. I'm very much looking forward to this if only to see how my perception of ATi matches with the article.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is going to be VERY interesting, good to hear that AMDs let you do such an article!

              Comment


              • #8
                It's taking a bit longer than expected as they are preparing slides for Phoronix

                Though hopefully the article will still be out in a week or two.
                Michael Larabel
                http://www.michaellarabel.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  [q]AMD has made the strategic decision to make Linux part of their unified development cycle. But you'll have to wait for the article to see what this entails[/q]

                  Hopefully it will entail supporting open source drivers along with kernel/X developers, because that is is the only thing that will ever get me to waste my time with ATI hardware.

                  As it stands right now buying a newer ATI hardware is one of the worst possible mistakes you can make when building a Linux PC and it's going to be like that as long as ATI is depending on closed source FLGLX.

                  Q. What is the easiest way to install drivers for a r500 series ATI card?
                  A. Sell it on ebay and buy a Nvidia card. Then install the nvidia drivers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    AMD opening the fglrx drivers will not happen anytime soon (http://www.phoronix.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1454). And I don't think they will release any specs either. The only real thing to wait for are the discrete intel cards, IMO AMD/ATI (graphics card wise) is dead!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ivanovic View Post
                      AMD opening the fglrx drivers will not happen anytime soon (http://www.phoronix.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1454). And I don't think they will release any specs either. The only real thing to wait for are the discrete intel cards, IMO AMD/ATI (graphics card wise) is dead!
                      Yep. And it's too bad.

                      I like AMD a lot more then Intel, but buying AMD means pretty much that your requiring at least propriatory drivers for the video card (and badly supported hardware usually for audio/network/sata), unless your using those onboard Via stuff (which is fine for most sorts of video playback) which have virtually no 3d performance.

                      So it's a shitty situation.

                      You have ATI, which made bad decisions for licensing, then turns around and inflicts those poor decisions on end users with shitty drivers. Which is one thing. But to now have AMD not being able to fix the situation is a damn shame.

                      Maybe if Dell or HP starts shipping Linux hardware they will turn around. When there starts to be real financial punishment for the state of Linux driver support as AMD/ATI hardware gets passed over again and again for those (relatively) large scale Linux deployments we are seeing more often.


                      One thing to keep in mind is that Intel isn't releasing specs OR releasing source code. Sortof.

                      They released specs for 8xx stuff, I beleive. Which forms the basis for those Linux drivers. Then for the 915 stuff they hired out to Tungsten Graphics for driver development (3d visualization company created by Xfree developers). Now for 965 stuff they internalized driver development and hired several prominate X hackers for improving X support for their hardware. (and that is going beyond mere drivers, but going also into the development of better open source OpenGL stack)


                      So it's not like Intel is perfect or wonderfull. They are doing open source drivers with a very pragmatic approach. Either Nvidia or ATI could trivially be much more open then Intel and still be able to protect their 'IP'.


                      There already are Free/Open source drivers for ATI hardware. Linux/X.org has open source 2d and 3d drivers for r100, r200, r300, and r400 series cards. So it's not like ATI would have to realy do a whole lot to get well supported hardware.

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                      • #12
                        Q. What is the easiest way to install drivers for a r500 series ATI card?
                        A: http://www.mepisguides.com/Mepis-6/f...lrx/fgrlx.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by drag View Post
                          There already are Free/Open source drivers for ATI hardware. Linux/X.org has open source 2d and 3d drivers for r100, r200, r300, and r400 series cards. So it's not like ATI would have to realy do a whole lot to get well supported hardware.
                          Heh... They only have a solid handle on the R100 and R200 series chips right now.

                          They've got an impressive amount of support for the R300 and up (R400/R500 chips are merely an expansion of the functionalities of the R300 in the form of more pipelines, faster pipelines, etc...)- but it's not anywhere near the amount they have on the R100/R200 chips.

                          x.org doesn't (Yet!) appear to have FSAA, Hyper-Z, Anisotropic Filter, and a few other things for one to claim that they really have R300 support. It's coming along nicely, but it's not really supported. AMD could conceivably step in and hand everyone in our community a few bread crumbs in this area to make things all better (and gain favor in our community...)- but I seriously doubt they will. Which is a shame.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                            Heh... They only have a solid handle on the R100 and R200 series chips right now.

                            They've got an impressive amount of support for the R300 and up (R400/R500 chips are merely an expansion of the functionalities of the R300 in the form of more pipelines, faster pipelines, etc...)- but it's not anywhere near the amount they have on the R100/R200 chips.

                            x.org doesn't (Yet!) appear to have FSAA, Hyper-Z, Anisotropic Filter, and a few other things for one to claim that they really have R300 support. It's coming along nicely, but it's not really supported. AMD could conceivably step in and hand everyone in our community a few bread crumbs in this area to make things all better (and gain favor in our community...)- but I seriously doubt they will. Which is a shame.
                            The R400 series is a extension to the R300 series. Faster, more pipelines, and PCI express support.

                            R500 on the other hand is very different. Or at least different enough. There is _zero_ support for it with Free software drivers, 2D or 3D. Vesa driver is all there is for those guys.

                            I don't think that you are going to see any of the advanced features of the r300/r400 chipsets anyways. There is a very limited amount of developers in teh Linux community that are realy capable of reverse engineering hardware and they've seemed to have turned their attention to Nvidia.(I've read at least one of them say that Nvidia hardware is more pleasent to work with and much less buggy then ATI.. which is a huge problem for reverse engineering. (even if you do get something right, it can still be wrong because the hardware may be broken in special cases))

                            edit:

                            In terms of compatability with Linux desktop the free software drivers are superior to the flglx. For example they support AIGLX for easy acceleration of things like compiz or beryl.




                            Q. What is the easiest way to install drivers for a r500 series ATI card?
                            A: http://www.mepisguides.com/Mepis-6/f...lrx/fgrlx.html
                            That's a happy fantasy. In my own personal experiance I couldn't get Flglx drivers to work at all with my hardware.
                            I tried official Debian packages. I tried the Ubuntu packages.
                            I tried the official releases from ATI. Multiple different versions.

                            And this wasn't very long ago.

                            And I've compiled my own custom versions of X.org, the kernel, and mesa development libraries, from scratch, and installed them in parrellel with my existing distro-provided software in order to play around with XGL when it first came out. And I've been using Linux for years.

                            If I can do that well and yet not be get those stupid ATI drivers to work correctly then it's just dumb luck weither or not it works for anybody.

                            Meanwhile my Intel graphics had 3d acceleration the first time I booted up my machine from a fresh install with absolutely no configuration or intervention from me.
                            Last edited by drag; 03-13-2007, 04:43 PM.

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                            • #15
                              well i've been using gentoo for a couple of years.

                              when i tried ubuntu or debian i was clueless about how to enable ati's opengl in xorg :]

                              one distro did specify fglrx libs explictly in xorg.conf

                              like Load "/usr/lib/xorg/modules/dri/fglrx_dri.so" in Modules section of xorg.conf

                              gentoo does symlinks :
                              Code:
                              /usr/lib/opengl/ati/extensions -> ../xorg-x11/extensions
                              /usr/lib/opengl/ati/include -> ../xorg-x11/include
                              /usr/lib/opengl/ati/lib
                              /usr/lib/opengl/ati/lib/libGL.la
                              /usr/lib/opengl/ati/lib/libGL.so -> libGL.so.1.2
                              /usr/lib/opengl/ati/lib/libGL.so.1 -> libGL.so.1.2
                              i guess one way or another, it should eventually start working. (proper kernel config is also important).

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