1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

AMD's UVD2 & XvMC For Linux?

AMD

Published on 04 September 2008 11:04 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
20 Comments

Last month the Catalyst 8.8 Linux driver was released with CrossFire For Linux (including support for the Radeon HD 4870 X2) and OverDrive-based overclocking. In that article we also shared two new interesting libraries appeared within the driver package: libAMDXvBA.so.1.o and libXvBAW.so.1.o.

The AMDXvBA and XvBAW libraries aren't yet used by the driver, but their names are rather interesting containing Xv.

Xv, or X-Video, has been supported by the proprietary Catalyst package for some time on Linux and Textured Video is even supported by the open-source xf86-video-ati driver for most of the card generations. What hasn't been supported though in the Xv family is XvMC, or X-Video Motion Compensation. XvMC is an extension of Xv that allows for offloading some MPEG2 video decoding to the graphics processor instead of using the system's main processor.

Word though has leaked onto the Internet by some Windows web-sites that AMD intends to provide high-definition video acceleration on some select Linux-based computers using ATI graphics. With that information out there, now we're willing to talk a bit more about these two new libraries.

Specifically, AMDXvBA and XvBAW are part of their Unified Video Decoder (UVD2) plans for Linux support. You can see this by running strings /usr/lib/libAMDXvBA.so.1 | grep UVD on the Catalyst 8.8 driver or newer. Outputted are numerous references to UVD. Among the strings are CreateUVDCommand, CreateUVDBufferPool, CreateUVDConfig, RegisterUVDClient, UVDSession, "unknown UVD IDCT buffer type ovverride", and numerous other references. What will upset some users though are references to DRM, which when talking about video doesn't mean the open-source Direct Rendering Manager but instead Digital Rights Management. There are strings for SetupDrmKeys, SetupDrm, _ZN8UVDCodec10SetDrmKeysEv, etc.

In the other library, XvBAW, are numerous references to XvMC. There is XvMCSetAttribute, XvMCGetAttribute, XvMCWrapper, XvMCQueryExtension, and quite a few other Xv/XvMC strings.

With that said, it looks like not only is support for Unified Video Decoder 2 coming but also X-Video Motion Compensation support! With modern hardware, XvMC is no longer too useful, but this should satisfy a number of users after enhanced video playback.

What will be interesting though is how AMD decides to implement their high-definition video support on Linux. Seeing as there is no suitable standard right now, they will likely introduce their own interface. This then will need to be adopted by the video playback programs (such as mplayer and MythTV) in order for it to be of any benefit.

For now you'll just need to speculate on what's happening, but once such a driver is released that delivers UVD2 and XvMC support (if in fact these libAMDXvBA.so.1.o and libXvBAW.so.1.o files aren't nasty tricks) we'll provide a full run-down on the new features and comments from AMD. As we mentioned in the Catalyst 8.8 article, the fun for the year is not over yet.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Launches The Core i7 5960X, Mighty Powerful Haswell-E CPUs
  2. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
  3. AMD Radeon R9 290 Open-Source Driver Works, But Has A Ways To Go
  4. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
Latest Linux Articles
  1. The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming
  2. Testing For The Latest Linux Kernel Power Regression
  3. The Most Energy Efficient Radeon GPU For AMD Linux Gaming
  4. 20-Way Radeon Comparison With Open-Source Graphics For Steam On Linux Gaming
Latest Linux News
  1. Coreboot Adds Lenovo X220 With Native Sandy Bridge Support
  2. Canonical Has Yet To Land X.Org Server 1.16 For Ubuntu 14.10
  3. Imagination Launches A MIPS Development Board
  4. Getting Involved With The New Raspberry Pi Graphics Driver
  5. A New AMD Catalyst Linux Driver Unofficially Surfaces
  6. LibreOffice Ported To 64-bit ARM (AArch64)
  7. Enlightenment E19 RC3 Shows Off The New Wayland Compositor
  8. Metro Redux Is Going To Require OpenGL 4.x On Linux
  9. Jailhouse v0.1 Released As A Basic Hypervisor For Linux
  10. Google's Chromebook "Samus" Now Supported By Coreboot
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  2. Catalyst 14.201.1008
  3. It's Now Possible To Play Netflix Natively On Linux Without Wine Plug-Ins
  4. Users defect to Linux as OpenBSD removes Lynx from base system
  5. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  6. Canonical Joined The Khronos Group To Help Mir/Wayland Drivers
  7. Radeon HD5670 and Ubuntu 14.04
  8. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs