The Top AMD, Intel & NVIDIA Linux News For 2014
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 30 December 2014 at 09:00 AM EST. Add A Comment
HARDWARE --
Here's another year-end Linux list... Well, three this time. This go-around is looking at the most popular NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD Linux news items of the past year.

Going along with our various other year-end top ten lists and the various AMD/NVIDIA/Intel Linux graphics driver recap articles, here's the most popular (non-featured, non-benchmark articles) news items for each hardware vendor independently.


First up is the top AMD Linux news items of 2014:

AMD Open-Sources VCE Video Encode Engine Code
AMD is doing another large and important open-source graphics driver code drop this morning. This morning AMD is publishing their VCE code that allows for hardware-based video encoding.

A Backdoor In AMD's Catalyst OpenCL Library?
There's a chance there might be a concealed backdoor within AMD's Catalyst driver, in particular within their closed-source graphics driver's OpenCL library.

Recapping The AMD Kaveri Linux Experience
Since last month's debut of the AMD Kaveri APUs there have been many Phoronix articles delivering Linux test results of the A10-7850K high-end APU. For those that unfortunately don't read Phoronix on a daily basis, here's a recap of some of our findings to date.

AMD Releases Catalyst 14.1 Beta Linux Graphics Driver
The first major Linux Catalyst 2014 release is now available.

AMD Publishes New Code For Open-Source VCE Video Encode
AMD has published a second version of their open-source Linux driver code for exposing the "VCE" video engine on modern Radeon GPUs under Linux via OpenMAX for accelerated H.264 video encoding.

AMD Press Talks Up Major Open-Source Linux Driver Features
Good news: AMD's press / global communications team is finally talking up their open-source Linux graphics driver features. Bad news: they appear to still need lots of training over their own Linux graphics drivers. Or is there some Linux driver shake-up happening? Here's some of what they are promoting right now with the AMD Linux graphics driver.

AMD Publishes Open-Source Linux HSA Kernel Driver
AMD has just published a massive patch-set for the Linux kernel that finally implements a HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) in open-source. The set of 83 patches implement a Linux HSA driver for Radeon family GPUs and serves too as a sample driver for other HSA-compatible devices. This big driver in part is what well known Phoronix contributor John Bridgman has been working on at AMD.

AMD R600 Gallium3D Driver Lands OpenGL 3.3 In Mesa
After previously talking about the patches, as of this evening the OpenGL 3.3 support has officially arrived within Mesa for the AMD R600 Gallium3D driver with the Radeon HD 2000 series and newer GPUs.

The Big RadeonSI Performance Patch To Land In Linux 3.13
Just before Christmas was a patch by Marek Olšák that provided much better RadeonSI performance. That patch will now be merged into the Linux 3.13 kernel to be released later this month.

RadeonSI GLAMOR 2D Performance vs. Catalyst
While the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver continues making much headway as the modern open-source AMD Gallium3D Linux graphics driver along with the GLAMOR library it depends upon for 2D acceleration, the 2D performance of the Linux desktop is still quite poor compared to the proprietary Catalyst driver.

AMD had a ton of great open-source accomplishments this year, but NVIDIA customers weren't as fortunate -- unless you're a Tegra K1 user! Here's the top NVIDIA Linux news items, mostly centered around their first-rate binary Linux driver:

NVIDIA To Issue An Update On Their Support Of Mir & Wayland
While there's no supportive driver out at this time, NVIDIA continues to be working in the direction of supporting non-X11 windowing systems like Mir and Wayland.

NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
As anticipated, Andy Ritger of NVIDIA presented at XDC2014 in Bordeaux, France the company's plans to support alternative window managers beyond X11 when it comes to their Linux graphics driver. NVIDIA is working on some significant improvements to their closed-source Linux driver to support Mir and Wayland.

NVIDIA Issues Updated 340.46 Long-Lived Driver Release
NVIDIA on Tuesday released an updated Linux x86/x86_64/ARM graphics driver in their 340.xx long-lived branch.

NVIDIA Adds PhysX GPU Acceleration Support Under Linux
At long last NVIDIA has exposed GPU acceleration support for PhysX under Linux.

NVIDIA Provides Open-Source Tegra K1 Support In Nouveau
For those questioning whether NVIDIA's open-source graphics merits of the past few months have been real, this weekend NVIDIA released the initial open-source hardware enablement code to support their forthcoming Tegra K1 SoC graphics within Nouveau!

NVIDIA Releases The 343.22 Linux Driver With GTX 980 Support
NVIDIA has once again managed same-day Linux support for their newest graphics processors.

NVIDIA 331.38 Linux Driver Brings Many Changes
It's been a while since the last official mainline NVIDIA Linux graphics update, but that changed this morning with the debut of the exciting NVIDIA 331.38 Linux GPU driver.

Linux Testing Of The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
After last month's review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 on Linux, many Phoronix readers expressed interest in seeing tests of the GeForce GTX 970, another powerful Maxwell graphics card but costs much less than the GTX 980. I now have my hands on an EVGA GeForce GTX 970 and am working on Linux performance benchmarks for this graphics card.

NVIDIA Suggests Explicit Synchronization For Nouveau
As another interesting NVIDIA Linux news item before ending out the month are some patches published just before the start of the weekend by NVIDIA. A NVIDIA developer has proposed explicit synchronization support for the Nouveau driver, complete with some "RFC" patches.

NVIDIA VDPAU Performance With The GeForce GTX 980
Now having done the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Linux review with plenty of OpenGL benchmarks and yesterday running a bunch of GTX 980 OpenCL benchmarks, for your Sunday morning viewing are now some Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) results for a range of NVIDIA GPUs.

Last up is the Intel Linux news items of 2014:

Intel's Xeon Phi Is Being Sold For An Insanely Low Price Right Now
There's a crazy discount right now for those wishing to buy an Intel Xeon Phi MIC card that's equipped with 57 cores running at 1.1GHz, 8GB of onboard memory, passively cooled, and over 1 TeraFLOP of double-precision compute power. All of this on a PCI Express card for less than... $200 USD!

Major Performance Breakthrough Discovered For Intel's Mesa Driver
LunarG in cooperation with Intel discovered a very important performance fix for their DRM driver that will significantly boost the OpenGL performance for "Haswell" HD Graphics on Linux.

I Lost Interest With Intel's New, Fan-Less Bay Trail NUC
Last month Intel announced a new, fan-less Intel NUC Kit, the DE3815TYKHE and it featured an Intel Atom E3815 SoC. While at first I immediately planned to buy one, now that they're available, I've changed my purchase order instead to another DN2820FYKH NUC Kit for Linux usage.

Intel Linux Graphics Developers No Longer Like LLVM
Well, it turns out the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver developers are no longer interested in having an LLVM back-end for their graphics driver.

Linux 3.13 Kernel About To Land In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Canonical is prepraring to land their first 3.13-based Linux kernel into the archive for the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" release.

Intel GMA500 Poulsbo Driver Finally Works Towards 2D
The open-source Intel GMA500 "Poulsbo" DRM driver that supports Atom SoCs with PowerVR graphics, which long has only provided basic kernel mode-setting support via the community-made driver, is finally close to having 2D acceleration.

Linux 3.14 Officializes Broadwell, Deprecates Legacy UMS
As usual, Intel's preparing to land a lot of exciting changes within the Linux 3.14 kernel as soon as its merge window opens in the coming days.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. Ubuntu 14.04 - Ivy Bridge GL Tests
For those current users of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS curious about how the performance of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be if upgrading, I've been in the process of running some preview benchmarks to share the current situation of the Trusty Tahr in its present development form. Some early results to share this weekend run a few OpenGL benchmarks while comparing the state of Ubuntu 12.04.3 to Ubuntu 14.04 right now when using Intel "Ivy Bridge" HD Graphics 4000.

Beignet Is Now Friendly With LLVM/Clang 3.5
Intel's Beignet open-source OpenCL implementation for their Linux graphics driver now switches to LLVM/Clang 3.5 as its preferred version.

Lack Of Broadwell RC6 Has Us Looking Toward Linux 3.15
While Intel's upcoming Broadwell processors will have proper graphics driver support with the Linux 3.14 kernel (and updated user-space components), for those concerned about power usage, there's still some very important bits that do not look like they will land until at least the Linux 3.15 kernel.
About The Author
Author picture

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.

Related Hardware News
Popular News