Catalyst 9.2 Released, Still Fails To Deliver XvBA
A day after the ATI Catalyst 9.2 driver update was issued for Windows, Catalyst 9.2 for Linux is now available. However, there really isn't much at all to see with this release. There are no new features, but there are sixteen known resolved issues. None of the fixes in this proprietary Linux driver update are particularly interesting.
Catalyst 9.2 for Linux brings fixes for MythTV full-screen corruption, AMD Catalyst Control Center, Google Earth failing to start, some monitors not being detected when hot-plugging, audio output for HDMI, corruption in some Big Desktop setups, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars fix, some OpenGL applications no longer production a segmentation fault when running a dual-head CrossFire system, tearing no longer occurs with picture-in-picture playback on SuSE, MPlayer can now handle full-screen AVI files, and other video fixes.
What's still lacking from the ATI Catalyst driver is X Server 1.6 support (which is needed for Ubuntu 9.04 compatibility), soon there will be a need for Linux 2.6.29 support, and lastly, XvBA is still missing.
X-Video Bitstream Acceleration, which is a new AMD video API for Linux to compete with NVIDIA's VDPAU, was supposed to be introduced in the fourth quarter of 2008. Still there is no sign of XvBA with Catalyst 9.2, which is very unfortunate. Though we recently learned that a XvBA back-end for VA-API is in development, but that the XvBA API may be very restrictive and might not be allowed to be used in open-source software, which would put this AMD creation at a major disadvantage on Linux.
The latest AMD Catalyst driver for Linux can be downloaded at AMD.com. Hopefully next month with Catalyst 9.3 there will be more to report on when it comes to Linux features...
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