ATI R600 Gallium3D Driver Continues Advancing
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 17 September 2010 at 02:19 AM EDT. 154 Comments
While most of the open-source Linux graphics drivers are currently in Toulouse for the 2010 X.Org Developers' Summit, David Airlie of Red Hat Australia is not among those in attendance. He, however, is continuing to work on one of his latest efforts in conjunction with AMD: R600g, or the ATI R600/700/Evergreen Gallium3D driver. In the latest batch of Git commits to Mesa there is now a number of new features implemented.

Among the R600g commits hitting the Mesa tree overnight in Toulouse were the pre-requisites for being able to move to pipe-buffer kernel object buffer managers, then the hundreds of lines of new code to use the pipe-buffer manager rather than using kernel buffer objects directly, support for winsys buffer object caching (with vertex/index/constant buffer objects), and support for the upload manager for uploading user VBOs (Vertex Buffer Objects) and index buffers. The upload manager support in R600g should provide quite a speed improvement for a number of OpenGL games/applications, such as those using the ioquake3 engine.

Details and the code changes can be found by examining the Mesa log.

While the R600g driver is not yet on the same level as the R600 classic Mesa driver or that of the R300g driver (the Gallium3D implementation for ATI GPUs up through the Radeon X1000 series), it is slowly but surely reaching such a state.

One XDS item worth mentioning is that when talking to AMD's Alex Deucher two days ago in Toulouse, they will continue work on bringing up and stabilizing the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series support in the classic Mesa R600 driver even though support for Evergreen has already been added to Gallium3D. As the R600g driver isn't yet at a state to takeover the R600 classic Mesa driver and AMD wanting open-source Radeon HD 5000 series OpenGL acceleration working in the next round of updates, they'll continue for this series on the duplicated effort of implementing the acceleration code in both drivers. Moving forward though -- like with the AMD Radeon HD 6000 series and Fusion -- we should see Gallium3D-only support.
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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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