A Catalyst 12.8 proprietary driver release is now available for Linux, but it doesn't pack much in the way of changes.
AMD has published their instruction set architecture (ISA) documentation for the "Southern Islands" graphics processors that are used by their Radeon HD 7000 series products.
AMD quietly released an update to their preferred compiler, Open64, last week. The AMD Open64 4.5.2 compiler supports their next-generation "Piledriver" Fusion APUs.
We're now going into eight months since the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series "Southern Islands" graphics cards first launched. In that time the Catalyst Linux support has been stable and fine, but the open-source driver support is still unusable.
For those that didn't notice, this week AMD released a new header that defines the AMD ACPI interface used for laptops, PowerXpress, and chipset-specific functionality.
While the AMD Linux graphics team is busy proposing an LLVM back-end staging area, the AMD CPU folks have begun work on the GCC compiler and preparing support for the next-generation Bobcat processors.
Tom Stellard of AMD has proposed a staging area for LLVM back-ends, similar to the staging area of the Linux kernel.
Following yesterday's article about Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ support defeating open-source developers, Jerome Glisse has clarified the situation after trying to make this code work properly for more than a half-year.
Jerome Glisse has published a new patch to enable HyperZ support for the AMD Radeon (R600g) Gallium3D driver. While this patch could be pushed to Mesa, it's not being enabled by default as it's still causing some GPU lock-ups and developers can't seem to figure out the cause. Jerome is now moving onto other work.
There's now open-source GPU-based 2D hardware acceleration support for the AMD Radeon HD 7000 "Southern Islands" graphics cards using the xf86-video-ati driver.
It has been fourteen years since the ATI Rage 128 graphics cards were released, but some within the open-source community are still using this vintage graphics hardware and even advancing the ATI driver.
While owners of ATI/AMD Radeon HD 5000/6000/7000 series graphics cards have already had a Catalyst 12.6 Linux driver -- which many Linux users found to be disappointing -- today AMD has released a Catalyst 12.6 "Legacy" Linux driver for those using the older generations of Radeon hardware.
Following the changing of the Catalyst release schedule and dropping old hardware support, Catalyst 12.6 for Linux has been officially released. However, it's already disappointing some Linux binary driver users.
Last week there were XBMC developers that wrote a public message on Phoronix about AMD's problems with video playback acceleration using their Catalyst Linux driver. The developers called AMD out on their shortcomings and now today there's a response out of AMD.
For those intrigued by the article written by XBMC developers after being frustrated by AMD's Catalyst Linux driver, here's a look at some of the other options for GPU-based video acceleration under Linux.
In the discussion last night about AMD not having any plans to suspend their proprietary Linux driver, John Bridgman of AMD shared some interesting information about AMD planning to provide a full execution stack in open-source form.
Since AMD's decision to discontinue HD 2000/3000/4000 series support from the Catalyst driver plus other changes that upset some hardware owners, there's been some rumors that AMD may be discontinuing development of the Catalyst Linux driver and focus solely upon the open-source AMD Linux driver.
The R600 Gallium3D driver is beginning to enable Stream-Out support by default for a greater selection of the Radeon graphics processors.
AMD will be placing an ARM Cortex-A5 on future-generation Fusion APUs as what initially they are saying is for hardware-based security measures via ARM TrustZone Technology.
The R600g LLVM shader compiler back-end that's primarily intended for the Radeon Gallium3D compute support is now working a bit better for graphics support compared to when it was first committed.
Compute (OpenCL) support for the AMD Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" graphics cards has now landed in Mesa Git master.
While patches have been around for more than one year to support Hierarchical Z on the ATI/AMD R600 open-source driver, the Gallium3D support still hasn't been merged.
Fear not for all of those who have been very angry over AMD dropping the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 support in the same release as providing X.Org Server 1.12 support, word on the streets of Toronto is that their legacy driver branch does have support for this latest xorg-server release.
There were more OpenCL/compute-related commits to Mesa Git master on Friday afternoon. The main item is that the Radeon HD 5000 series has its compute support hooked-up.
Hidden away within the new Catalyst 12.6 Linux driver are 2D acceleration improvements. These improvements aren't visible by default but there's a special command to activate this "ShadowPrimary" support.
While AMD is changing their Catalyst driver program and there wasn't any Catalyst 12.5 release, there is a public beta of Catalyst 12.6 for Linux.
Word is breaking today on the Windows-focused web-sites that AMD's Catalyst driver program has fundamentally changed. How does this impact Linux Catalyst users? Unfortunately, it will likely prove to be in a bad way.
AMD admits it has had some Linux support problems with its graphics drivers and they'll be working to improve the situation.
For those disappointed by the results of the open-source vs. closed-source AMD Radeon graphics driver results on Linux at this time, you may be more pleased going forward and carry hope for open-source AMD advancements in 2013.
If you happen to be an unfortunate soul still using an old ATI Rage graphics processor, the "R128" driver now has EXA acceleration support after about a decade and a half of the hardware being around.
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