MSAA Anti-Aliasing For AMD Radeon Evergreen GPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 9 August 2012 at 02:27 PM EDT. 18 Comments
AMD's Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" graphics processors can now support multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) with the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver.

MSAA, Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing, is one of the graphical features that's taken a ridiculous amount of time for some of the open-source graphics drivers to support with Mesa. MSAA support in Gallium3D was added in the infrastructure side in 2010 and only in recent months did Intel's Mesa driver even introduce MSAA support. Meanwhile, MSAA for OpenGL has been around for the past decade.

Marek Olšák while hacking on the R600 Gallium3D driver has written 19 patches to provide multi-sample anti-aliasing support for the Evergreen GPUs. Marek also mentions that the Cayman (Radeon HD 6900 series) MSAA support might be good now too, but he doesn't have any hardware to test. This MSAA support also requires support from a just-published kernel patch he sent earlier today, so this likely won't all come together until Mesa 8.1 + Linux 3.7 for anti-aliasing.

Most Piglit MSAA regression tests now pass for Evergreen, but apparently not all. There's also FMASK and CMASK hardware optimizations to be added later. Marek based this work upon earlier Evergreen MSAA work started by David Airlie.

The set of 19 Mesa patches for Evergreen MSAA can be found for now on the mesa-dev list.
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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.

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