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  • Amd/ati apu

    Wondering what is happening at AMD for linux driver development for next year APU? I do assume that AMD is smart enough to develop a free software cross platform driver (common core) that will have outstanding linux support just after release (unlike my new 5750 card that is picking up dust)... thus at the same time completly swipe away NVIDIA linux market share...

    Any news about that?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gizmot View Post
    Wondering what is happening at AMD for linux driver development for next year APU? I do assume that AMD is smart enough to develop a free software cross platform driver (common core) that will have outstanding linux support just after release (unlike my new 5750 card that is picking up dust)... thus at the same time completly swipe away NVIDIA linux market share...

    Any news about that?
    The big thing that you seem to be missing is the fact that the whole open-source driver initiative of AMD involves Fusion (APU). The fusion chips are to contain EVERGREEN R800 GPU.

    Does it not seem somewhat convenient that their open source drivers will be arriving at a state of "ready to go" at the same time as the Fusion chips come out? That is no coincidence!

    They're not coming out publicly and announcing this, but it is clear, based on the timing of everything, that this is the objective: Ready to go out of the box support for FUSION chips at the moment they are available to consumers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
      They're not coming out publicly and announcing this, but it is clear, based on the timing of everything, that this is the objective: Ready to go out of the box support for FUSION chips at the moment they are available to consumers.
      I think Brigman actually said something like this before (so it is kinda official), i.e. that the Fusion-chips were AMDs main motivation for increasing their open-source support.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Zhick View Post
        I think Brigman actually said something like this before (so it is kinda official), i.e. that the Fusion-chips were AMDs main motivation for increasing their open-source support.
        Possibly. Bridgman is a great source of (unofficial) official information.

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        • #5
          According to the rumors I could found with my friend google, it does look like first generation fusion chips would use existing technology such as R800 chips.
          Also, I do find interesting the lack of response (to which the post was clealy aimed to) from Brigman to this low posts/high views thread.
          The other interested market perspective to this is also: what will happens at nvidia if ati was to pull off such a move?

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          • #6
            Who is Brigman ?

            Comment


            • #7
              Support for the Fusion parts in new markets was one of the reasons for restarting open source graphics driver activity, although the major one was that it was something AMD's big CPU customers wanted to see. Linux has a really significant market share in the server CPU business, maybe 20x what we see in the GPU business.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                Who is Brigman ?
                Your evil twin

                Comment


                • #9
                  now I see...

                  the whole plan was to be able to provide support for amd fusion chips right out of the vanilla linux kernel for the following reasons:

                  1. CPU/and or GPU combo support for server, virtualisation and super computers. Admins dont want to mess with crappy and buggy closed source drivers.
                  2. OEM support in order to fight ARM small devices about to flood the market.
                  3. ATI is getting raped by Nvidia when in comes to linux rendering farms.


                  providing actual open source drivers was just required for markets totally unrelated to consumers graphic cards.
                  At least now we know when the driver is going to be ready...

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                  • #10
                    3. ATI is getting raped by Nvidia when in comes to linux rendering farms.
                    I have to concur, in particular in GPGPU and OpenCL applications. I hope some people will open their eyes and don't awake too late.

                    providing actual open source drivers was just required for markets totally unrelated to consumers graphic cards.
                    At least now we know when the driver is going to be ready...
                    I still believe that having two drivers is big waste of time and resources. How many people are working on the Open Source driver: two to three? Those would better suited to fix long-standing bugs in the OpenCL or multimedia stacks... IMHO, having a single good driver is better than two incomplete ones.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
                      I still believe that having two drivers is big waste of time and resources. How many people are working on the Open Source driver: two to three? Those would better suited to fix long-standing bugs in the OpenCL or multimedia stacks...
                      Sounds perfect. And while they're at it, let them also fix some other deficiencies of the fglrx driver: missing KMS support, inability for out-of-the-box installs, possibility to obtain full backtraces, support for kernel-features marked as non-tainted-only, ...

                      oh, wait.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
                        IMHO, having a single good driver is better than two incomplete ones.
                        Very true. The problem is that the proprietary driver can never be "complete" due to it's proprietary nature, while the open source driver can (at least in theory), but will require a lot of work, probably years even if AMD put all it's engineering effort into it, to surpass the proprietary driver in every use-case (it already surpasses it in some). So for the long term concentrating on the open source driver would be better, but in the short term working on the proprietary driver is a necessary stop-gap measure.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
                          Those would better suited to fix long-standing bugs in the OpenCL or multimedia stacks...
                          I agree on the multimedia stack, but how can you have *long-standing* bugs for an API that reached 1.0 less than a year ago?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
                            How many people are working on the Open Source driver: two to three? Those would better suited to fix long-standing bugs in the OpenCL or multimedia stacks... IMHO, having a single good driver is better than two incomplete ones.
                            Interesting that you should mention the number of devs that are working on the OSS driver... it seems to me that AMD planned this one out VERY well... for the minimum about of resources required to get the drivers up to their targets at the moment when it is truly needed.

                            Another thing to note: from my perspective, slower moving driver development seems to be beneficial at this stage in the game. There are MASSIVE architectural changes being implemented, so pouring all your resources into getting "full support" out for current architecture might mean wasting a huge amount of it when the current architecture becomes obsolete. When you slow down, you get to see the big picture, and get to adapt to the trends rather than ending up with something that is really out of place -- like, for example, both AMD's and NVIDIA's blob drivers lack KMS. Intel, moving at a snail's pace and leaning a little more open (even with their CLOSED drivers) have KMS implemented across the board.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
                              I still believe that having two drivers is big waste of time and resources. How many people are working on the Open Source driver: two to three? Those would better suited to fix long-standing bugs in the OpenCL or multimedia stacks... IMHO, having a single good driver is better than two incomplete ones.
                              Once Fusion becomes a reality, they will need open source drivers.

                              People will grudgingly accept closed drivers for their graphics card, but I don't think that anyone will accept installing a binary driver for their CPU. The whole thing needs to be supported in the kernel.

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