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AMD Releases 900+ Pages Of GPU Specs

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Chandon View Post
    Are these documents the complete specs that a programmer would need to implement good quality free drivers? Are they real? Do they work?

    Can I really buy ATI hardware now and expect free drivers for it reasonably soon, or is there going to be a post in two weeks saying "ATI Specs Incomplete / Useless"?
    The specs are incomplete/useless.

    (at least as far as doing any VIVO or accelerated gfx is concerned - the best these specs will do is get an image on the VGA display. After that it's basically framebuf time.)

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    • #32
      The specs are incomplete/useless.
      almost everyone is missing the point.

      these are just initial docs from ati/amd. more will follow. of course you can't expect to see avivo or tv-out or full 3d specifications explained in them, for obvious reasons.

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      • #33
        These initial specs are useful at this point for the driver... Look at the recent Avivo activity with all of the changes attributed to the specs.
        Michael Larabel
        http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Chandon View Post
          Are these documents the complete specs that a programmer would need to implement good quality free drivers? Are they real? Do they work?

          Can I really buy ATI hardware now and expect free drivers for it reasonably soon, or is there going to be a post in two weeks saying "ATI Specs Incomplete / Useless"?
          These docs are not complete, even for those parts of driver development they should cover.

          They are, however, and this is an important distinction to make, all that can currently be dragged out of ATI. You have to understand that this is completely new for a company like ATI, and that it is very non-trivial to get this documentation and get it approved for release.

          They are also not overly useful on their own, a lot of what my colleagues and i have been doing is poking and guessing until it somewhat worked. We just have these bare register specs and no actual programming documentation like there used to exist in the 90s and earlier.
          Last edited by libv; 09-15-2007, 10:38 AM.

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          • #35
            Hmm...
            Let's hope that they will not stay there for a long time and release soon some "hotter" info...

            Maybe they just prepare the new package of info right now, or discussing what info this will include...

            Who knows?... Maybe Michael??

            But I certainly have a good feeling! If policy changed completely about the approach of the community by ATI-AMD I believe we will see more and soon.

            I am really tired of those nvidia guys bragging all the time about their linux advantage empire (full of bugs see Composite, Suspend, not even XvMC works bugless)...

            Jim

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            • #36
              Talking about the Avivo driver...

              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              These initial specs are useful at this point for the driver... Look at the recent Avivo activity with all of the changes attributed to the specs.
              I have just tested the latest avivo driver from git and it still has the "screen is corrupt after you close the lid and then reopen it" bug. (The laptop's screen powers down when the lid closes, of course. However, it doesn't seem to reinitialize correctly afterwards.)

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              • #37
                Originally posted by djdoo View Post
                Hmm...
                Let's hope that they will not stay there for a long time and release soon some "hotter" info...

                Maybe they just prepare the new package of info right now, or discussing what info this will include...

                Who knows?... Maybe Michael??

                But I certainly have a good feeling! If policy changed completely about the approach of the community by ATI-AMD I believe we will see more and soon.

                I am really tired of those nvidia guys bragging all the time about their linux advantage empire (full of bugs see Composite, Suspend, not even XvMC works bugless)...

                Jim
                Well, i hope that the next doc drop will means that the modesetting and basic driver information is at least complete. 2D accel and especially 3D accel aren't even being discussed yet.

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                • #38
                  @Luc:

                  I got your point my friend...
                  I am sure you know better than me

                  Are you one of the people that develop that open driver said to be developed by Novell??

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by djdoo View Post
                    @Luc:

                    Are you one of the people that develop that open driver said to be developed by Novell??
                    Yes, SUSE is the linux distribution and service provider that is a daughter company of Novell, and i am indeed one of the developers of this driver

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by chrisr View Post
                      I have just tested the latest avivo driver from git and it still has the "screen is corrupt after you close the lid and then reopen it" bug. (The laptop's screen powers down when the lid closes, of course. However, it doesn't seem to reinitialize correctly afterwards.)
                      I got the same bug also. I use Ctl-Alt-F6 Ctl-Alt-F7 to get screen back.

                      Another missing feature of the avivo driver is XVideo support for video play back. right now, I have to use mplayer -vo gl2, which is slow

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by butdie View Post
                        I got the same bug also. I use Ctl-Alt-F6 Ctl-Alt-F7 to get screen back.

                        Another missing feature of the avivo driver is XVideo support for video play back. right now, I have to use mplayer -vo gl2, which is slow
                        This is no different with our driver yet. We will hook into ACPI correctly soon, when we get the time to do this.

                        Switching VTs reinitialises all of modesetting, and gives you a correct mode. Lid close events shuts down many things, and the lid open event than reenables everything like the bios thinks everything is being used, but this was of course altered by avivo or our radeonhd driver. Once we capture these events, this problem will be handled by the X server and "It Will Just Work" (famous last words).

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                        • #42
                          Processing with the GPU, speculation & questions.

                          What are the chances of the specks enabling us to use the GPU for more general purpose processing? I frequently backup and compress whole harddrives of data, or transcode MPEG2 video captured from my PVR-150 to Xvid, (soon H.264) is it going to be possible to use the GPU for some/which appropriate tasks?

                          The Folding@Home people only support R500 series GPUs because "The X1K boards were the first to support 32-bit precision and branching/looping on the ATI/AMD side of the world" and they strongly recommend the R580 / X1900 series, as it has 48 pixel shaders, presumably the same will be true of any future GPGPU efforts? What about R600 chips with their Unified Shaders?

                          What are the chances of H264 playback assistance, or a more general video decompression framework? What about on older (R300) hardware? Presumably this wouldn't require branching/looping and may well enable thousands of older PC's to perform as HD MythTV frontends.

                          I realise these questions are way ahead of them selves, and there's a LOT of work to do before we get to this point, but I'm just very excited at the prospect.

                          Thank you to all the developers for your effort on behalf of the FOSS community

                          http://folding.stanford.edu/FAQ-ATI.html
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPGPU
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ocessing_Units

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                          • #43
                            I just found www.gpgpu.org and their not mentioning this on the forums there, I guess specifications aren't going to make a big difference to the world of General-Purpose computation on Graphics Processing Units as they already have open APIs to use, though with closed compilers.

                            I wondered if we might get an open gpgpu framework and compiler, but I suspect it depends on how detailed the rest of the specks are and possibly how capable intels upcoming Larrabee GPUs are as to weather or not the results will be worth someones effort.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by stunted View Post
                              What are the chances of the specks enabling us to use the GPU for more general purpose processing? I frequently backup and compress whole harddrives of data, or transcode MPEG2 video captured from my PVR-150 to Xvid, (soon H.264) is it going to be possible to use the GPU for some/which appropriate tasks?
                              I was actually talking to an AMD representative recently, they mentioned this exact functionality in future tools they plan to release.

                              He mentioned how they want to release tools to allow developers to better harness the GPU's computing power.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by koolmanoncampus View Post
                                I was actually talking to an AMD representative recently, they mentioned this exact functionality in future tools they plan to release.

                                He mentioned how they want to release tools to allow developers to better harness the GPU's computing power.
                                That's very exciting, I wonder weather they'll be open source or propriety.

                                After posting I did some more reading round the gpgpu.org forums and found this thread
                                http://www.gpgpu.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4756
                                which raises some very interesting questions about the reliability and error rates on GPUs. I don't think for the moment I'd use the GPU for anything like compressing harddrive images, of course a few errors in a video compression probably won't mater but when the integrity of the data is more important than the speed of compression I'll stick with my CPUs and ECC registered RAM.

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