1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 1 June 2007
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 4 of 9 - Comment On This Article

Timing a Release

Whether you know it or not, ATI Technologies had made the strategic decision to make the Linux driver part of their unified release cycle, but what does this mean? Well, these slides we are sharing with you today is the simplified version of what this unified development cycle means along with some other information to share with the public for the first time.

AMD provides updated display Catalyst drivers on a monthly basis for both their Windows and Linux customers, but these monthly drivers actually take about 11 weeks, or close to three months, to put together. Each release consists of pure development time for roughly one month, creating a branch for that specific release, and then carrying out quality assurance. After development has ended there is three weeks of validation, three weeks of beta testing, and then one week to bake. Any and all new features or fixes that AMD engineers would like in the release must be completed during the development stage. Granted, however, there are exceptions to that development rule for fixing any serious regressions as well as for the inclusion of distribution-specific packaging scripts. Community members with AMD's internal beta testing program maintain these packaging scripts and thus the scripts for each release are generally all updated during the beta testing stage. The bake stage in the development of the Catalyst driver is merely a buffer of time to ensure that the Windows and Linux drivers are completed and launched on the same day.

This schedule does also explain why new kernel and X.Org support isn't generally added the same month as its release. If a new kernel at the start of the month breaks fglrx support, that month's driver is already far into the validation and beta stages, which prevents engineers from appending support to the branched driver. Adding support for newer versions of the Linux kernel and X.Org in some cases require extensive modifications, more so than end-users may sometimes realize. However, with the distribution-specific packaging scripts not having set deadlines, and in some cases being updated a few days prior to the driver's public release, often times they will include non-official patches.

It is also important to keep in mind that while the AMD release notes in every driver may not be as long as an end-user would like, the developers are actually working on things all of the time. Like we had saw last year with the Dynamic Display Management Options and other features, there are times during the year when the official change-log may be short for a period of releases but that is when they are actually working on tackling some of the long-term objectives. Right now we seem to be going through a similar period with the Linux driver.

Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Btrfs On 4 x Intel SSDs In RAID 0/1/5/6/10
  2. AMD Radeon R9 290 On Ubuntu 14.10: RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst
  3. MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux
  4. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 With Intel HD Graphics
  2. 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Driver Comparison
  3. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers On Ubuntu 14.10
  4. Ubuntu 14.10 Offers AMD Radeon Driver Performance Improvements
Latest Linux News
  1. GTK+ 3.16's New GtkGLArea Widget Gets Improved
  2. X.Org Server 1.17 ABI Bumped
  3. Fedora 21 Beta To Be Released Next Week
  4. Go 1.4 Beta Release Brings Big Runtime Changes
  5. SIMD For JavaScript Continues Coming Along
  6. GNOME 3.15.1 Released
  7. Red Hat Software Collections 1.2 Adds GCC 4.9, Nginx 1.6
  8. GLAMOR Acceleration Continues To Be Cleaned Up
  9. Russia's Yandex Web Browser Finally Released For Linux
  10. Linux Kernel Finally Being Optimized For SSHDs
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Is foolish currently develop in machine code, hexadecimal and assembly?
  2. Reducing The CPU Usage In Mesa To Improve Performance
  3. How to get rid of Linux
  4. Help diagnosing problems with a Readon HD 4670 on Mesa 10.3.2-1
  5. Advertisements On Phoronix
  6. nv and xorg.conf under Debian PPC
  7. Looking for a Open-Source AMD experienced Linux mentor
  8. Bad perfomance in gaming