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R300 Gallium3D Is Now Separate From Classic Driver

AMD

Published on 27 July 2011 08:29 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
6 Comments

Up to this point the ATI "R300g" driver that provides Gallium3D support for Radeon GPUs up through the Radeon X1000 (R500) series has depended upon files from the "R300c" classic Mesa DRI driver when being compiled. In particular, the R300c shader compiler and its nearly 20,000 lines of code. The R300c compiler has now been copied over directly to live separately within the R300g driver, which means the classic R300 driver can be left to fade off and die.

Marek Olšák, one of the most frequent and notable independent contributors to the Radeon Mesa stack, copied over the compiler into the R300g tree. Per his commit message, "r300g doesn't depend on files from r300c anymore, so r300c is now left to its own fate. BTW 'make test' can be invoked from the gallium/r300 directory to run some compiler unit tests."

Not many use the classic R300 driver any longer. The R300 Gallium3D driver has been the default driver of choice on R300 through R500 ASICs for two Mesa releases. This Gallium3D driver is faster, cleaner, and offers more opportunities than what is supported by its older sibling.

While the R300c driver rarely receives new work these days, it's a low maintenance burden so as such it still will likely be living within the Mesa tree for another couple of releases. Along the same lines, ATI/AMD hasn't been quick to kill off UMS (user-space mode-setting) support while their KMS (kernel mode-setting) support is now rock solid.

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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