RadeonHD 1.2 Driver Released
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 10 April 2008. Page 1 of 1. 4 Comments

It's been a long time in the making, but the xf86-video-radeonhd 1.2 driver has just been pushed out the door. RadeonHD 1.2 is the first new release for this open-source ATI R500/600 driver since December of last year. The RadeonHD 1.2 driver includes support for new AMD graphics processors, 2D XAA/EXA acceleration, and other changes.

Among the new parts supported include the Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series (RV620/635), Radeon HD 3870 X2 (with support for only one of the two R680 GPU cores), and enhanced support for the RS690 IGP. This release also marks the adoption of AtomBIOS usage, but just for handling the Uniphy transmitter found on the Radeon HD 3400/3600 GPUs. What currently lacks when it comes to this new graphics support, however, is DisplayPort capabilities. The ATI RS690 improvements revolve around the DDIA block (better known as the Mystery block that few knew was actually being used). The RadeonHD driver also has yet to support the Radeon HD 3200 (780G) IGP, but some 780G code will be pushed out soon.

While the Radeon developers have beginning to work on the Mesa and DRM implementation for the R500 series, the RadeonHD developers aren't there yet. However, this is the first RadeonHD release that integrates 2D EXA and XAA acceleration support. This XAA/EXA acceleration currently only covers the R500 (Radeon X1000) series with no support currently for the R600 series.

This release also has significant underlying changes when it comes to splitting up encoders and transmitters and reworking digital and analog outputs. TV-Out support for the RadeonHD driver is almost ready, with all of the various components being in place but just not hooked together and tested, yet. On the opposite side of the table, the xf86-video-ati R500 driver already supports TV-Out (though it may not work in all configurations).

The newest addition to the RadeonHD driver is a basic register dumping utility, which users can run as rhd_dump to provide basic register information on their graphics processor. This will be helpful where AMD has yet to provide register documentation on certain functionality.

Check out the RadeonHD IRC channel and mailing list for more information and the X.Org Wiki.


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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.