AMD's Initial Radeon Driver Changes For Linux 3.12
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 13 August 2013 at 11:09 AM EDT. 60 Comments
The Linux 3.11 kernel is still weeks away from being released, but already AMD's Alex Deucher has begun queuing up changes for their open-source Radeon driver for the Linux 3.12 kernel.

The Radeon changes that landed in Linux 3.11 were incredibly huge due to the long-awaited Radeon DPM support that means a ton of improvements. With the Radeon DRM update is also the Radeon HD 8000 "Sea Islands" graphics card support, among other changes.

The initial Radeon changes for Linux 3.12 aren't as huge, but still noteworthy. This morning Deucher sent out 53 initial patches for the next kernel release.

The main change is owners of Radeon HD 8000 (Sea Islands / CIK) graphics processors now have ASPM (Active State Power Management) and DPM (Dynamic Power Management) support as was brought to the existing AMD GPUs on Linux 3.11. There's also changes with the removal of buffwe object copy support using the 3D engine with now relying upon the sDMA engines or CP DMA handling.

With recent kernel releases having brought new AMD hardware support, dynamic power management, and Unified Video Decoder (UVD) support, there isn't too much more to hope for at this point with the open-source Radeon Linux driver besides improved performance. (Well, KMS HDMI audio too.) On the user-space Mesa/Gallium3D side, of course performance is important but also catching up on the OpenGL support and making the OpenCL/GPGPU compute support more usable.
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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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