We've talked all too often about AtomBIOS and there being two different open-source drivers that support the same ATI Radeon hardware with the key architectural difference between the two just being the use of this video BIOS abstraction layer. From the beginning, AMD was planning to have their Novell partners use AtomBIOS when writing this new (at the time, R500/600) driver, but the developers ultimately declined. These developers have expressed their opinions on AtomBIOS, which range from it being an unbearable mess to this design being nothing more than writing open-source code to power someone else's closed-source work. However, under pressure by AMD, the developers are now preparing to use AtomBIOS to a much greater extent within the xf86-video-radeonhd driver. In this article we'll tell you more about what's gone on and where you can checkout this AtomBIOS-bearing RadeonHD driver.
4 July 2008 - 46 Comments
Now that we have delivered OpenGL benchmarks of the ATI Radeon HD 4850 on Linux, we are turning our focus to the flagship Radeon 4870. For this testing we have dual Radeon HD 4870 graphics cards from Sapphire Technology. We'll be publishing these initial results in the coming days, but for now, we are just letting everyone know that this RV770 GPU also is working with xf86-video-ati after writing a trivial patch for this display driver. Our patch is enclosed.
26 June 2008 - 4 Comments
In our article this morning entitled AMD Makes An Evolutionary Leap In Linux Support, we briefly touched on the fact that AMD would be continuing in their open-source support for the Radeon HD 4000 generation of GPUs. AMD will release register information for the RV770 and the code to TCore and KGrids will help the community developers when it comes to 2D and 3D acceleration. Though, with not much work at all, this afternoon we have the ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB running with the open-source xf86-video-ati driver! The Radeon HD 4850 will not currently work with the xf86-video-radeonhd driver as it doesn't rely upon the AtomBIOS in these areas, but in this article we have enclosed our patch and other information for using this open-source driver on AMD's latest hardware.
19 June 2008 - 12 Comments
Less than a year ago we shared with you the revolutionary steps AMD was taking to deliver significant improvements to their once infamous proprietary Linux display driver and at the same time the work they were doing to foster the growth of an open-source driver for their latest graphics card families. These steps have certainly paid off for both AMD and the Linux community at large. AMD's proprietary driver is now on par with NVIDIA's Linux driver and there are two open-source ATI drivers picking up new features and improvements on an almost daily basis. AMD also continues to publish new programming guides and register information on a routine basis for their latest and greatest hardware. This has been truly phenomenal to see, but AMD has now evolved their Linux support by taking it a large step further. AMD is in the process of pushing new high-end features into their Linux driver -- such as Multi-GPU CrossFire support -- and with the ATI Radeon HD 4850 they have even begun showing off Tux, the Linux mascot, on their product packaging and providing Linux drivers on their product CDs!
19 June 2008 - 96 Comments
In AMD's usual fashion, this afternoon they have announced the release of new display drivers for both Linux and Windows. The Catalyst 8.6 release for Linux introduces a few bug fixes, version 2.0 of their driver installation API, and a few unannounced features are present. As always, we have the run-down for you on this month's changes.
18 June 2008 - 157 Comments
Following our article looking at the state of X.Org (along with announcing the release of X Server 1.4.1), we proceeded to share the contributors behind the X Server -- both the individual developers and companies involved with fostering the growth of this important free software package since 1999. What we hadn't looked at in that analysis was the people and companies behind the work on Mesa 3D, or the OpenGL component used by X. In this article, however, we have these statistics to share.
15 June 2008 - 4 Comments
Late last month AMD had announced the release of the Stream SDK for Linux. This Stream SDK brings support for the CAL and Brook+ libraries on Linux. The version released was Stream SDK 1.1 Beta, which arrived at the same time as the SDK for Windows XP. With this new Linux support, we ran a small Q&A session with Michael Chu, who serves as the product manager for AMD Stream software. In this article are AMD's answers to some of the questions asked by members of the Phoronix Forums.
6 June 2008 - 6 Comments
NVIDIA's last Linux display driver release was just shy of two months ago when they had unveiled the 173.08 Beta driver with compatibility for the GeForce 9800 series and other new GeForce 9 parts. Prior to the 173.08 release was version 171.06, which was another beta release, and the last official release being NVIDIA 169.12 from February. NVIDIA this morning has released the 173.14.05 driver, which marks the return to their old naming convention, but it doesn't bring many changes compared to the recent beta releases and just a regurgitated release announcement.
28 May 2008 - 45 Comments
From the release of Mesa 7.1 Release Candidate 1 to Multi-Pointer X being merged to master to the R500 3D milestone, it's been an exciting past 24 hours for the X.Org community. With the open-source 3D support for the Radeon X1000 "R500" GPUs now reaching a parity with the Mesa support for earlier ATI Radeon product families, more Linux users can now consider turning to an open-source driver (xf86-video-ati or xf86-video-radeonhd) for their video driver needs. In this article we are looking at what Linux games work thanks to this latest Mesa R500 support.
28 May 2008 - 24 Comments
While the RadeonHD developers have been busy working on Radeon HD 3200 / 780 Series support and other features for this open-source ATI R500/600+ driver, the DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) support has been lagging behind. Earlier this month Matthias Hopf was successful in getting DRM working on an RS690 GPU and he has published RadeonHD DRM code into his personal development tree, but no code has yet to reach master. Meanwhile, as the xf86-video-ati driver is using AtomBIOS, they are able to spend more time working on the 3D features and other areas and less time "banging on registers" or even waiting on register documentation to arrive. David Airlie has been working on the R500 3D support along with Alex Deucher and Corbin Simpson. The trio has been making some great headway towards open-source 3D goodness for Radeon X1000 and HD 2000/3000 GPUs. Their most recent efforts have focused around the R500 fragment program code and today they have reached a monumental milestone.
27 May 2008 - 70 Comments
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