RadeonHD Driver Switches To AtomBIOS
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 12 August 2008 at 01:03 PM EDT. 5 Comments
A month ago we had shared that the RadeonHD driver would be switching to AtomBIOS, or the ATI video BIOS abstraction layer used since their R400 series graphics cards, and today they have completed this code merger. The Novell developers behind the RadeonHD driver have long preferred the route of banging on the registers directly than relying upon this closed-source (aside from the open-source parser) framework, but they had folded due to pressure from AMD with the time it's taken to support new GPUs and the developers behind held up waiting on register documentation to arrive.

For the past month this AtomBIOS-ized version of the xf86-video-radeonhd driver have lived in a separate development branch, but today more than one hundred patches have been merged to master. Now by default the driver will be using AtomBIOS.

A number of the R500 and R600 graphics cards though have hard-coded mode-setting support that was done over the past year, but not all of that work has gone to waste. Where there is a hard-coded path, the RadeonHD driver will still use it unless the user sets the UseAtomBIOS option within their xorg.conf. For all other chipsets, AtomBIOS is used by default.

Next up will be to merge the HDMI audio and Command Submission driver branches to master.

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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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