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AMD: Accelerating Open-Source Drivers?

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  • #16
    The fact that Phoronix has so much info before everyone else has made me register here. Great stuff, and keep up the good work!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Source Of Radiance View Post
      The fact that Phoronix has so much info before everyone else has made me register here. Great stuff, and keep up the good work!
      Great, glad you enjoyed it. Be sure to stick around as we have many more articles (on ATI and other topics) in the queue! In fact, I think there will be another two to four articles that get published before the driver is even released on their website.
      Michael Larabel
      http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #18
        hi

        here is something more on this topic. it seems that AMD will provide some help, but not entire driver.
        http://lwn.net/Articles/248227/

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        • #19
          Very intriguing stuff here. I have to admit, it would take an awful lot to convince me to make my next video card purchase an AMD card over an NVidia card. A high quality performant open source driver would probably do it, but when Unreal Tournament 3 and Quake Wars roll around, I'm afraid I'll have little patience for ATI's traditionally quirky driver behavior and subpar performance on Linux. That said, I'm hoping for the best and I'll be watching what Phoronix has to say very closely as this is definitely the place to get the best information for both sides of the video card fence.
          Last edited by immudium; 09-05-2007, 06:04 PM.

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          • #20
            I was toying around with the idea of a high quality Open Source driver derived from full specs disclosure... What would that mean? Boy! Back in the days when I had an ATi card (now I own an nVidia card) and knowing how both companies handle their drivers and devices, I always thought ATi was more close to the true "nature of Linux" in the graphics department at least, by not requiring any special devices, and by using pretty much all the infrastructure already in place (no need to brake your X11 installation with the drivers), that is a much more elegant implementation than what nVidia had (albeit, nVidia offered what users wanted: speed and features).

            So sort of "knowing" how are both drivers implemented, I always thought that ATi had a much better chance to actually open at least one part of their drivers: The DRM module, and keep the X11 parts and bits closed, as that's where the real "magic" happens, the DRM module is "simply" a pass-through to the hardware (sorry if I'm over simplifying things here). At any rate, this announcement of openning the specs for some parts of the graphics platform could lead to a high quality Open Source 3D driver, however I wonder what is AMD going to do with technology licensed from third parties, like S3TC and others? I thought they could:
            1. Act as proxy for the Open Source Community to be able to implement these, on the AMD/ATi hardware only, effectively sponsoring the development of the drivers, since they have already paid the licenses for such technology (but that opens up the door for questions such as how "open" would the Open Source drivers be?); or
            2. Support the development of a high quality Open Source 3D driver, stripped from such "licensed" technology (R200 all over again?), and still offer an X11 binary driver with such features, but using a common kernel interface, which would translate into:
              • Instant new kernel release compatibility.
              • High quality Open Source 3D drivers missing a few features (I just hope the licensed technology doesn't prove to be performance killer if the drivers are stripped from it).
              • Ease of deployment (due to kernel improved compatibility)
              • Better quality drivers, given the cooperation between the company and the community for maintaining common code for both the OSS and proprietary driver.
              • Happier users

            That would be a dream come true, but until the final announcement, we can only guess and hope and dream. I'm eager to see what's in store for us!

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            • #21
              It feels like the whole state of ATI drivers on linux has just back flipped completely in less then 24 hours - this is awesome news for the AVIVO driver. Too bad it will pretty much obsolete Revenge.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by hmmm View Post
                It feels like the whole state of ATI drivers on linux has just back flipped completely in less then 24 hours - this is awesome news for the AVIVO driver. Too bad it will pretty much obsolete Revenge.
                Not the Avivo driver, but the new yet to be named Linux driver...
                Michael Larabel
                http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                • #23
                  Why introduce a new driver and not integrate into current one? Would ease up hw detection - just everything from ATI vendor pciid to ati driver. Currently you need a list with all supported old cards for ati and you use the rest for vesa. When you want to write a list for new driver then good luck... It is enough to update my own pci id list from fglrx driver.

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                  • #24
                    The article will be published at noon EST tomorrow.
                    Michael Larabel
                    http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                    • #25
                      Waht about specifications for R300 and R400? There are open source drivers, but they also need more development(slow, not everything works). Will there be any progress for those, too?

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                      • #26
                        If you read the press release for the Kernel Summit, they pretty much stated that they want to support Open Source drivers for across the board ATI products, so most likely, yes, that includes R300/400 products too

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                        • #27
                          What stop with R300/R400?

                          Originally posted by Thetargos View Post
                          so most likely, yes, that includes R300/400 products too
                          And what about R100/R200 based products? I assure you that these cards are still out there, and are in active use...

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by chrisr View Post
                            And what about R100/R200 based products? I assure you that these cards are still out there, and are in active use...
                            MAYBE they'll merge the current code for R100/200 and the new once they figure out if the new code can drive these cards or if they need some other means to unify them under the same code base, but I'm not sure it'll be a high priority in the devs TODOs, most likely not.

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