March 19, 2008 -- In the next step towards open-source 3D support for the R500 and R600 GPUs (Radeon X1000 and Radeon HD 2000/3000), AMD has just pushed its production microcode into the Mesa/DRM git tree. This is the microcode found in the fglrx driver and it covers the Radeon R100 to R600 product families.
March 19, 2008 -- For Linux distribution vendors, right now is proving to be an awkward time for them as they decide which ATI driver will ship as the default choice in their spring distribution refresh. The problem used to be whether to ship a binary-only driver in the distribution in order to provide "out of the box" support for all available graphics hardware, but on the ATI/AMD side the software distributors are now facing the challenge of which open-source driver they should call the de facto standard. In this article we are briefly looking at the matter of the xf86-video-ati vs. xf86-video-radeonhd drivers, the highly political issue of AtomBIOS, and what some of the popular Linux distributions are deciding to use this spring.
March 14, 2008 -- Last month right before FOSDEM 2008, the 3D programming documentation for the R500 GPUs (Radeon X1000) series was released. This documentation consisted of a register reference guide for the R500 GPUs as well as a programming guide covering such areas as the command processor, vertex shaders, and fragment shaders. While the register reference guide for the R600 series is still being worked on, for those with older ATI graphics processors, AMD has went back and created a register reference guide for the R300 series.
March 12, 2008 -- Following a period of relative inactivity in the xf86-video-radeonhd git tree over the past few weeks, this afternoon Novell's Egbert Eich had pushed forward 55 changes to this open-source R500/600 driver. The AMD Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series are now supported and there are a number of other significant changes. The RV620/635 mode-setting support has required the most significant work since the R500 series, since all output blocks have been altered due to the introduced DisplayPort capabilities. We have already tested out this latest code and were left with a positive impression.
March 07, 2008 -- On the same day as the limited open-source support arriving in the xf86-video-nv driver, NVIDIA's binary display driver for Linux has been updated to officially add support for the GeForce 9600GT graphics card. This new driver update is version 171.06 (Beta) and its only change is the added 9600GT support, but that's compared to the 171.05 driver that was targeted specifically for the Tesla S870.
March 05, 2008 -- Last month with the Catalyst 8.02 Linux driver we mentioned just how low on the end-user changes the fglrx driver has been in recent months, and today the Catalyst 8.3 Linux driver has been released with the release train slowly chugging along. The only new feature in this month's proprietary Linux driver is X-Video support for the Xpress 1200 hardware, but there are a few bug fixes that may satisfy some Linux users.
March 05, 2008 -- With FOSDEM 2008 taking place about two weeks ago, the 36th edition of the Nouveau Companion contains a special feature with FOSDEM-Nouveau coverage as well as in-depth thoughts from the developers that had attended this Linux conference in Brussels. Also covered in this development newsletter is new Gallium3D progress in their mainline Nouveau branch, MMioTrace is still planned for the Linux 2.6.26 kernel, and more RandR 1.2 improvements within this free software NVIDIA driver.
March 02, 2008 -- It was a year ago that AMD had replaced its aging FireGL Control Panel inside its Linux driver with the AMDCCCLE, or AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition. Since that time, this Catalyst Control Center for Linux continues to mature with a few new features being added here and there, and version 2.0 could in fact be introduced in an upcoming release. At the same time, the control panel utility that ships with NVIDIA's binary driver, nvidia-settings, has stayed more or less the same for the past few years with only a few minor revisions. How do these two Linux control panels compare though when it comes to the features? For this article we have put AMDCCCLE and nvidia-settings side-by-side to compare and contrast both utilities.
February 26, 2008 -- We know NVIDIA has been working on a new Linux display driver release, with the GeForce 9 series having been introduced just this past week, and today a new driver release has arrived for Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD. However, this new 169.12 display driver doesn't introduce support for the GeForce 9600GT and its official changes are limited to maintenance items.
February 24, 2008 -- This afternoon at FOSDEM 2008 in the X,Org development room, Keith Whitwell of Tungsten Graphics had provided a status update on the Gallium3D graphics driver architecture followed by Jerome Glisse talking about his work in porting the Radeon driver from DRM to Gallium3D. Jerome had also commented on other Radeon/X.Org topics such as kernel mode-setting. In this article are Gallium3D notes from these two talks.