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AMD's Hiring Another Open-Source Driver Developer

AMD

Published on 11 December 2010 08:08 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
107 Comments

Yesterday we reported that AMD's Catalyst Linux driver team lost another key developer with Piranavan Selvanandan, a senior engineer at ATI since 2003 when Matthew Tippett built-up the original ATI Linux driver team, leaving the company. While it's unfortunate to see AMD lose another long-time Linux engineer, it appears they are hiring for both their open and closed-source Linux driver teams.

In a forum post in response to yesterday's news, AMD's John Bridgman (and our most prolific forum poster out of the entire Phoronix community) had casually mentioned, "It never hurts to keep an eye on the careers pages at amd.com either. Maybe look at reqs 13400, 13544, and 13863 as a start."

So what are those job requisition numbers? Well, as of last month, AMD is now looking for a senior Linux open-source driver development engineer. This engineer would work within AMD's Graphics Product Group in Ontario to "design and implement support for new features and ASICs in the open source driver stack for AMD/ATI graphics chips." Requirements include a vast knowledge of computer GPUs (ATI/AMD preferably, of course), open-source projects, and OpenGL. See the job posting.

News of AMD looking to hire another open-source developer is terrific news. Right now AMD's "open-source Linux team" for graphics largely consists of John Bridgman, Alex Deucher, and Richard Li. John Bridgman handles the overall guidance, community engagement, and more of the managerial tasks while Alex and Richard are responsible for most of the initial open-source driver support for new ATI/AMD graphics hardware.

There's, of course, the AMD open-source community a great deal of the development work as well. AMD may just have three official open-source developers (they also had a fourth, Cooper, for a short while) at this time but within the community on their side are people like David Airlie and Jerome Glisse, both of which are engineers at Red Hat. Contributing to the open-source code-base solely out of interest have been people like Corbin Simpson, Marek Olšák, and Rafał Miłecki. It would be great to see one of these open-source community veterans take up this new open-source engineering job within AMD.

Regardless, hopefully having another paid engineer working on the open-source AMD Linux graphics stack will lead to more timely open-source GPU support (albeit they were spot on with open-source AMD Fusion drivers while this new hardware still really cannot be found in shops yet) as well as to see more public, NDA-free documentation out of AMD. With the AMD job posting specifically mentioning OpenGL, hopefully we will see much greater work from AMD on Gallium3D and moving towards OpenGL 3/4 support as well as OpenCL.

Aside from looking for another new open-source engineer, AMD is also looking for another senior Linux driver development engineer on the Catalyst driver side. Based upon the timing of the posting (approximately two weeks ago) and the job title, this may be for Piranavan Selvanandan's replacement. The job requirements are more stiff as are the responsibilities with feature enablement, driver bring-up and qualification on new hardware platforms, QA and debugging, driver performance optimizations, etc. That job posting is here.

About The Author
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 and or contacted via .
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