How Ironic: AMD Pushes Open-Source Llano APU Support
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 31 May 2011 at 04:07 PM EDT. 27 Comments
Last week there was the news post about whether AMD is open-sourcing something next week (this week), which turns out to be based upon a Twitter comment I had made. A discussion about AMD possibly open-sourcing something had ensued, including comments by AMD's John Bridgman, where he had said nothing was basically planned. Interestingly though, the initial open-source Llano APU support was just published.

Llano is AMD's new Fusion APU that is built on a 32nm process and is a quad-core chip targeted at laptops and desktops. All around, it should be a fantastic chip, especially for HTPCs and other low-power devices. There is Catalyst driver support for those that will be running Llano devices under Linux, but there's also open-source support that's emerging, just like the earlier Ontario Fusion APU support.

A set of four patches were published to the DRI-devel mailing list regarding Llano family support. The key parts of this Llano Fusion APU bring-up in the Linux kernel is for GPU initialization, blitting, and a new microcode loader. There are 11 new Llano APU PCI IDs that were added to the Radeon DRM driver as part of this patch set. This work will potentially be integrated into the Linux 3.0 kernel.

At the time of publishing, no Llano patches have yet arrived for the xf86-video-ati DDX X.Org driver or for the Radeon (R600g) Gallium3D driver for supporting OpenGL. These may arrive soon or it could end up taking a while before we see hardware acceleration on Llano, we'll likely find out soon in the Phoronix Forums by John Bridgman or Alex Deucher.

For those wondering about the Tuesday announcement I was originally talking about last week, as of right now it looks like it's been pushed back until tomorrow. Hopefully it will go live tomorrow, it potentially has a big impact and is a great win for open-source.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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