Open ATI Driver To Receive PowerPlay Push?
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 21 December 2009 at 07:53 PM EST. 61 Comments
AMD
Besides the Radeon DRM improvements (and Radeon HDMI KMS audio) to be found in the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, there is more to be thankful for this holiday season when it comes to the open-source support. Up to this point when it comes to power management for ATI's kernel mode-setting support the work (Radeon DRM Power Management Moves Along) has been largely done by Rafał Miłecki, an independent open-source developer. AMD nor any of its affiliate developers haven't really pushed out any major power management code (or technical documentation) yet, as we have heard some of it was being held up internally within their intellectual property review process, but it looks like things are changing.

AMD's Alex Deucher just pushed out new power table define statements for the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd drivers. Nothing is yet depending upon these new C define statements within the open-source ATI drivers, but it will allow a variety of new PowerPlay information to revealed.

Among the newly exposed information is for the minimum and maximum fan RPM speeds, thermal controller information, PowerPlay state information, classifications (limited power, 3D performance, UVD engine playback, boot, etc), PCI Express link speed, load balancing controls, voltages, and HT link frequencies. These details are for the R500/600/700 (and R800 Evergreen we would expect to be compatible too) graphics cards through AtomBIOS with PowerPlay, though some of the defines are only relevant to R600+ and other specific ASICs. The PowerPlay table definitions for pre-R500 (Radeon X1000 series) hardware has already been available.

Look for more good information to come soon for power management and the open-source ATI driver. See this commit for the new code.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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