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AMD Pushes Out New R600/700 3D Code

Michael Larabel

Published on 18 April 2009
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 1 - 65 Comments

In late December AMD had published open-source R600/700 3D code that also allowed for 2D and X-Video acceleration, but was not of use to end-users interested in full OpenGL acceleration. AMD had then released the R600/700 3D documentation a month later and then the R700 ISA documentation just a few weeks back. Today, however, AMD is finally pushing some workable code into a public code repository.

This code will allow open-source 3D acceleration on the Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series of graphics cards. Those using the Radeon X1000 series (R500) or earlier have already had open-source ATI 3D support for a while. This code being pushed out today is not yet ready to accelerate any advanced OpenGL games or anything like that, but it is more useful than the December code push that was limited to rendering open-source triangles. Basic OpenGL programs like glxgears should be working with today's code. Over the coming weeks and months this R600/700 3D support should mature to be able to run games that are compatible with the Mesa stack.

AMD's John Bridgman shared, "Because of all the other work going on in the 3D area (both radeon-rewrite and newttm going under the current KMS/GEM implementation) I'm not totally sure how long it will take for all the bits to get aligned and ready for use, but my guess is that the changes will add a month to the schedule, so probably some time in May for the code to be both accessible and useful to typical end users.

We weren't thinking about radeon-rewrite or creating a new drm API during our initial planning -- the idea was to just copy the r3xx-5xx code and change the chip-specific bits for 6xx-7xx. That's all out the window now, but all the devs felt that moving to radeon-rewrite and a drm API based on the memory-managed implementation was the right way to go."

This code is being pushed into two branches: one that is based upon an older version of Mesa and then a newer code branch that is based upon the work of the Radeon driver rewrite. Once the 3D support has stabilized, it should be merged into the mainline Mesa code-base (ideally in time for Mesa 7.7). It was just last week we should be seeing R600/700 3D support around this date.

That is a synopsis of what is going on today within the open-source ATI world. Developers and experimental testers are encouraged to give it a whirl while end-users may want to hold out a few weeks before this code becomes more useful to them. We, of course, will be running some OpenGL tests on this code as it stabilizes. Next up on AMD's agenda as it relates to open-source support is a working Gallium3D implementation.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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