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Did Hell Just Freeze Over? Here's Evergreen On Gallium3D!

AMD

Published on 09 September 2010 10:43 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
54 Comments

The Linux community is still in awe from today's announcement that Broadcom has released an open-source WiFi driver for their newest 802.11n chipsets after not backing any Linux support for their wireless hardware in years past. In the Phoronix IRC channel the question was jokingly begged if hell has frozen over, but now we have another announcement to share today, which makes us wonder if hell has really frozen over. No, we aren't sharing more news right now on Valve's Steam/Source Linux client that's still coming, but that there is now Gallium3D support for the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series!

It was just this morning we reported on Gallium3D Evergreen support possibly coming soon after Red Hat's David Airlie began rearranging some code in the ATI R600 Gallium3D driver (dubbed "R600g") as a prerequisite to supporting the architectural changes between the R600/700 ASICs and Evergreen. But by this evening, David has got the whole shebang working with the ATI Radeon HD 5000 graphics cards.

With this Git commit is initial Evergreen support in the R600g Gallium3D driver. This 5,000+ line patch adds the necessary shader opcodes, assembler support (sans ARL), uses constant buffers, adds interp instructions in the fragment shader, supports all Evergreen hardware states, and has Evergreen PM4 support. With this patch, the R600g driver is now at the glxgears milestone with ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards.

While there is now Evergreen support in R600g, this open-source ATI driver is not as feature-complete yet as the classic R600 Mesa driver nor the R300g Gallium3D driver that supports the ATI R300/400/500 (up through the Radeon X1000 series), but it's only a matter of time until there is a parity. It was not even two months ago that the R600g driver was still in a broken state.

While the support is incomplete, ATI Evergreen/R800 support via Gallium3D is now yet another feature in the major Mesa 7.9 software update due out later this month. We certainly didn't expect the Evergreen Gallium3D support to come so soon, especially when talking about it this morning, but kudos to David Airlie and the other developers in so quickly hitting this milestone.

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