AMD RadeonSI HD 7000 Gallium3D Still Being Raised
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 15 May 2012 at 07:39 AM EDT. 18 Comments
While the Radeon HD 7000 "Southern Islands" series is nearly six-months old, the open-source support for these new "GCN" graphics cards remains largely unusable.

In early April was when AMD finally published the Gallium3D code in the form of a new driver -- the invasive changes of the "Graphics Core Next" architecture necessitated a new user-space OpenGL/Gallium3D driver rather than just extending the existing "R600g" driver. In mid-April, the RadeonSI driver code was merged into mainline Mesa. However, it wasn't exactly usable at that point nor what AMD customers would expect, "Basic egl demos are starting to run."

Now going on six months since the first AMD Radeon HD 7900 series graphics cards launched, the open-source support still leaves a lot to be desired. The "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 7000 series is still far from complete. At least though, progress is (slowly) being made. The commit activity for this driver can be found from Mesa CGit. The most recent RadeonSI driver commits were just hours ago.

Hopefully there will be some sort of decent support for the HD 7000 series with Mesa 8.1, which is due out this August. But for now the only real option is to use Southern Islands with the Catalyst driver.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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