ATI Evergreen Mesa Code Coming Soon
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 31 May 2010 at 05:00 PM EDT. 10 Comments
While the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" graphics cards launched last September, the proprietary Catalyst driver supported the new GPUs since they began appearing in retail channels, and Evergreen KMS support has been available since February, the open-source 2D/3D acceleration support for these newest ATI graphics cards have been non-existent. Fortunately, however, that is finally changing.

Committed this morning to David Airlie's DRM testing repository is the initial CS (Command Submission) parser for the Evergreen (also referred to as the "R800" series) ASICs. This allows commands needed for 3D acceleration to be submitted to the GPU. The noteworthy part, however, is part of the commit message that reads: "The mesa code that uses this will be released soon."

The commit that adds the Evergreen command submission parser can be found on the CGit page. It's good to see the initial Mesa code for the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics processors finally coming, but it will likely be initially published in the form of a classic Mesa DRI driver before it will appear in the form of a Gallium3D driver. Though this is a matter that has been previously talked about with regards to 3D support on Evergreen.

Ideally this initial Mesa 3D support will be merged prior to the Mesa 7.9 branching this summer. However, with the needed Radeon DRM changes not yet being in the mainline Linux kernel for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel, this may not make it supported until the Linux 2.6.36 kernel rolls out, which would put it out of reach for Ubuntu 10.10, unless it were to be back-ported by Canonical and other distribution vendors.
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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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