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AMD's HD 6950 is unlockable; 69XX series has dual bios -- good news for open source

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  • AMD's HD 6950 is unlockable; 69XX series has dual bios -- good news for open source

    AMD's HD 6950 is unlockable
    http://www.fudzilla.com/graphics/ite...-is-unlockable

    AMD even made the process a bit easier as AMD included the dual-BIOS feature on its HD 6900 series cards and if something goes wrong you can always go for the recovery/factory protected BIOS.
    This should be good for open source development, for those who want a completely 'free' solution for graphics acceleration.

    Here is a video of how to unlock the card:




  • #2
    I did not get the logic behind unlock and opensource, it is a vga bios flash nothing else...

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    • #3
      Ya I don't get the connection either especially when the tools to do the flash are closed source.

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      • #4
        The logic behind this, is now you don't have to worry about bricking your graphics card with an open bios (you can recovery with the dual bios function if that happens) and thus development can begin on a open source version for many more people.

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        • #5
          Why the hell would I need an open source BIOS?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
            Why the hell would I need an open source BIOS?
            This is why: http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...6154#post16154

            Originally posted by TechMage89
            In terms of a GFX bios, the real purpose is to get direct control of the hardware's functionality. Unlike the CPU, the GPU cant normally be fed arbitrary instructions. Certain values are put in registers to perform certain operations defined by the card's BIOS. However, this limits the tweak-ability of the card, because the driver is really not much more than another abstraction layer on top of the BIOS. Suppose we could write a BIOS that is specifically designed to run OpenGL, for example. It could greatly reduce the size of the driver needed, as well as improve performance substantially. It could also render pixel-perfect OpenGL, which would allow OpenGL to be used for GUIs and stuff that can't deal with the rather inaccurate way cards typically render it.

            This is a somewhat fuzzy description of these things, as I haven't actually developed any GFX drivers or BIOSs myself, but cracking the BIOS barrier is definitely the key to enabling the hardware to be used to the fullest extent possible.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RealNC View Post
              Why the hell would I need an open source BIOS?
              oh come one... an live cd with an cloused source bios is just against the law...

              an opensource bios really is usefull.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Laughing1 View Post
                The logic behind this, is now you don't have to worry about bricking your graphics card with an open bios (you can recovery with the dual bios function if that happens) and thus development can begin on a open source version for many more people.
                This doesn't mean that at all. It is still very possible physically damage the card by an incorrect value. If there is no hardware damage even with a faulty/buggy bios you are able to flash a working one back even on a single BIOS card. In the days of AGP cards this meant slapping in a PCI vga card along with the "bricked" AGP card. With PCI-e and IGP's found in modern systems this becomes even easier as most people developing would have a back up card (which could be any pci-e card) for "bricks" or simply enable the IGP. BIOS recovery has never been a real concern on video cards.

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                • #9
                  Well that card has got a dual bios feature.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    Well that card has got a dual bios feature.
                    I know, it doesn't mean however that you still can't physically damage the card nor does it mean that recovery will be anymore successful. Trust me I've "bricked" many video cards and haven't lost one yet. To me using the IGP / secondary card / for recovery has been just as easy (of not easier, no opening the case, extracting the card flipping switch).

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