Not All Hope Is Lost For AMD CPU Support On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 9 November 2012 at 12:27 PM EST. 11 Comments
AMD
While many Linux users are rightfully quite mad over AMD laying off many Linux kernel developers and shutting down their Operating System Research Center, not all hope is lost for future AMD CPU products being well supported under Linux.

AMD's (few) graphics driver developers working on the open-source Radeon stack were unaffected by the recent layoffs and OSRC closure, while those Linux developers working on future CPU product enablement, compiler optimizations, enhancing Linux virtualization support, and other areas were the ones hit very hard.

AMD hasn't wiped out their entire Linux support staff on the CPU side but there are still developers remaining outside of the OSRC. From what I've heard from my AMD sources (keeping in mind that Phoronix has been reliably delivering exclusives on AMD Linux news for many years), the remaining Linux developers will pick up most of the slack. There won't be developers to work on "experimental" and non-core areas of support, but future CPU and chipset enablement should still be covered under Linux.

AMD Linux engineers out of India, Texas, and California will still be playing with Tux. This can already be seen with the recent GCC patches for AMD's future Steamroller CPUs (third-generation Bulldozer / bdver3). This work was largely handled by Ganesh Gopalasubramanian out of AMD India and by chance this morning he published a revised bdver3 patch.

There's still AMD developers working on Linux support, just in different areas now and there aren't as many left but AMD isn't exiting the Linux market. Linux will continue to play an important role for AMD in the server space especially with their forthcoming ARM-based Opteron products. Android will also become more important to AMD with future product launches. Linux users should certainly hope though that AMD becomes more financially fit so that it will be able to regain some of their dedicated Linux staff in the future.
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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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