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AMD Lands Open-Source "Hawaii" GPU Driver Code

AMD

Published on 10 November 2013 02:27 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
6 Comments

The Linux 3.13 kernel that is just entering mainline development stages already has Radeon DPM and HDMI audio by default. However, now there's another Radeon DRM-Next pull and it provides support for the brand new AMD R9 290 "Hawaii" GPUs!

Another Git branch merge happened this morning of Radeon DRM driver code into drm-next. The prominent work now pushed into drm-next for merging into the mainline Linux kernel tree in the days ahead is Hawaii GPU support!

AMD's Alex Deucher wrote, "A few more patches for 3.13. The big one here is Hawaii support. I wanted to get that out sooner, but was sick earlier this week. That said, it's mostly self contained, so it shouldn't impact other asics. The rest are just bug fixes and a merge fix."

The PCI IDs that have been added as the initially supported AMD Hawaii graphics cards include 0x67A0, 0x67A1, 0x67A2, 0x67A8, 0x67A9, 0x67AA, 0x67B0, 0x67B1, 0x67B8, 0x67B9, 0x67BA, and 0x67BE. This Hawaii GPU support is for the new, original graphics processors (R9 290 and R9 290X) of the Rx 200 series family and not the GPUs that were simply re-badged from the Radeon HD 7000 series.

The Hawaii DRM driver code is based upon the Radeon HD 8000 "Sea Islands" (CIK) driver support. Among other changes made include support for Hawaii's new tiling configuration, new golden register settings that are the optimal settings for certain registers as said by AMD's hardware team, Hawaii UVD video decoding support, Hawaii DPM power management support, and the mode-setting paths are the same as AMD's Bonaire.

The AMD Hawaii GPU support will also require updated firmware/microcode files, but at the time of writing they don't appear pushed yet to Alex's radeon_ucode directory. I also haven't seen any AMD Hawaii Mesa code appear yet this weekend. A small update will also be needed to the xf86-video-ati X.Org DDX, but that should be rather trivial.

The Mesa/Gallium3D support for Hawaii GPUs should build upon the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver that supports from the Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer. The driver has been improving a lot but Catalyst is still much faster than RadeonSI and there's OpenGL 4.3 support compared to OpenGL 3.x in the latest Mesa release.

Nice job to AMD's open-source developers on being quick in pushing out the new code. If you're a end-user not interested in building new driver components, however, you will be stuck waiting until Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and other H1'2014 Linux distribution updates to appear unless finding third-party packages or using a rolling-release platform. If you want AMD Hawaii Linux GPU support today, you will be best off using the latest proprietary Catalyst (13.11 series) graphics driver that supports this new hardware.

The AMD Hawaii hardware enablement by the open-source driver will just be another change of many exciting features of Linux 3.13.

About The Author
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 and or contacted via .
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