Whoops, ATI's Evergreen Will Bring A New Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 13 April 2010 at 07:59 PM EDT. 89 Comments
Just hours ago we reported on AMD's position for the Gallium3D driver architecture according to John Bridgman, but some of his comments may now be different considering their Gallium3D adoption plans. After sending off that email with his Gallium3D comments, he learned that the Evergreen (a.k.a. Radeon HD 5000 series) support upbringing will be slightly different than planned.

Programming these new ATI graphics processors are quite similar to the previous-generation R600/700 series (Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series) so the plan all along has been to tack the support onto the R600 Mesa driver. However, due to different register offsets with the "R800" (Evergreen) hardware, this is looking to not be the case. Instead AMD is now looking at basically copying the R600 driver and calling it "R800" (or something similar) and then from there gutting out the different registers while keeping most of the code in place.

This will mean that much of the code and fixes will now need to be replicated across two classic Mesa drivers, but due to this unplanned change, it may be an opportune time to jump-start work on the Gallium3D upbringing for the Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards. The DDX driver will also have problems with different register offsets between R600/700 and R800, so AMD may also take this opportunity to push for the 2D EXA and X-Video acceleration via Gallium3D.

John mentioned this change on the mailing list and also in our forums, where he is often addressing the ATI-related questions of those within the Linux community.
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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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