PathScale Is Hiring To Work On Open-Source AMD Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 29 May 2014 at 09:45 AM EDT. 12 Comments
PathScale, the company behind the EKOPath compiler and other compiler technologies for both CPUs and GPGPU solutions, is looking to hire one or two kernel developers to work on improving the open-source AMD Linux graphics drivers... Particularly, to improve the GPGPU/OpenCL compute support in the driver, improve the Hawaii GPU and APU support, and potential optimizations for GPUs with 4GB+ of video memory.

Well known contributor C. Bergström posted to dri-devel: "PathScale is in need of 1-2 kernel devs who are interested to help improve the AMD open source drivers for compute workloads. If you're passionate or interested to improve AMD drivers ping me offlist. In the near future we specifically want to work on Hawaii dGPU support as well as APU. Depending on benchmark results we may also need to improve the memory manager to better support cards with 4G+ of on-board ram."

The improvements to the compute support within the open-source AMD Linux driver is very understandable and of much relevance to PathScale. Tom Stellard at AMD has been near single-handedly working on the compute support and AMD GPU LLVM back-end for years. He's making progress and some basic OpenCL apps will work with the latest open-source driver code, but it isn't yet full-functioning or on par with most proprietary drivers. There aren't many (or any) tier-one Linux distributions shipping with any open-source OpenCL driver stack, but Fedora 21 will likely change that later in the year.

Any improvements PathScale can do to the open-source Radeon R9 290 "Hawaii" GPU support is also a big win... While the hardware has been out for the better part of one year, it doesn't work well (at all with OpenGL...) with the latest driver stack. AMD's response about the open Hawaii support is they don't know why it doesn't work and Hawaii support isn't a priority at the moment.

It's also worth pointing out that PathScale previously gave away NVIDIA graphics cards to Nouveau developers when trying to improve that driver's stack for compute purposes. PathScale also ported Nouveau to OpenSolaris, temporarily forked Nouveau, and they've done other interesting stuff.

To see the latest state of the open-source Linux graphics drivers, we have many interesting tests coming next week.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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