Earlier this month I wrote about the AMD porting their open-source Linux graphics driver to Windows EC7. Here's a few details that were learned in the past two weeks.
The classic Mesa Radeon (R300/R600) drivers that provide open-source OpenGL support on Linux instead of the Gallium3D alternatives are likely to be dropped in the coming days.
If you're using any R300/400/500 GPU with the Gallium3D R300 driver, there's some improvements coming up for you in the KDE KWin compositing window manager.
On Friday some benchmarks of the AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer on Linux were shared, thanks to an early adopter running some benchmarks under Gentoo and uploading them to OpenBenchmarking.org. But there's more to come.
The R500 texture semaphores work, the feature I wrote about and tested earlier this month, has been merged to master. This feature in the R300 Gallium3D open-source driver can provide some impressive performance improvements.
Here's the first Linux benchmarks of AMD's FX-Series Bulldozer desktop CPUs that launched on Tuesday. Specifically, it's Gentoo Linux performance results for an AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer.
AMD has finally lifted the lid on their new FX-Series "Bulldozer" desktop CPUs, but how well do they work under Linux?
Vadim Girlin, an independent contributor to Mesa, has announced some shader optimization work he has done to the R600 Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series.
There's a new AMD Linux driver blob available for those that haven't yet fetched it, but it's not particularly exciting, unless you're using GNOME3.
It will be many, many weeks before AMD supports "Clover" for their Radeon GPUs on the open-source Linux DRM / Gallium3D stack. The support they're aiming for is the Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series and newer, but this Clover state tracker to support OpenCL is still a ways out for those with ATI/AMD GPUs. A whiteboard drawing of the Radeon Clover TODO list was shown at XDC2011 Chicago by John Bridgman.
Tom Stellard, the former Google Summer of Code student who worked on R300 GLSL improvements and a new register allocator, is now working for AMD and his work is focused on bringing up open-source OpenCL / GPGPU support in the Radeon Linux driver.
It was four years ago, on the 6th of September 2007, that I exclusively broke the news on AMD's open-source strategy that would end up greatly changing the open-source Linux graphics driver landscape.
Yesterday I mentioned that, thanks to new patches on the Mesa mailing list, it's now possible to use the R600 Gallium3D driver with the Xorg state tracker. This means that for all modern ATI/AMD Radeon GPUs (anything newer than the Radeon HD 2000 series), the Xorg state tracker can be used for EXA and X-Video/XvMC acceleration rather than relying upon any DDX driver. The xf86-video-ati driver can be tossed away, while the R300 Gallium3D driver (supporting up through the Radeon X1000 GPUs) has already supported this state tracker, but how well does it work?
While the ATI/AMD R300 Gallium3D driver has long worked with the Xorg state tracker, for providing EXA and X-Video acceleration atop this next-generation Mesa driver architecture, the R600 Gallium3D driver that supports all modern Radeon GPUs now works with the Xorg state tracker too.
While LinuxCon 2011 just started in Vancouver, Canada, the AMD developers over in Toronto have released their monthly Catalyst Linux driver update. Catalyst 11.8 Linux driver is now available for those who want this binary blob for Radeon/FirePro graphics processors.
Last month when testing the AMD Radeon HD 6550D graphics as found on the AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU I mentioned the latest Git code (Linux kernel / Mesa / DDX) was broken for this Llano-generation APU while the proprietary Catalyst driver had "just worked" under Linux. Here's an update where the open-source driver support is now at today.
While Mesa won't have OpenGL 4.2 support for some time, NVIDIA released an OpenGL 4.2 preview driver on Monday as soon as the Khronos Group had published the new specification. AMD yesterday has now released a beta Linux driver (of their Catalyst blob, nothing to do with open-source) that provides OpenGL 4.2 support.
Marek Olšák, one of the most prolific open-source graphics driver developers that isn't backed by any corporation, has made another major improvement to the open-source ATI/AMD "R600" Gallium3D driver. This student developer has reworked the Radeon winsys back-end, which can cause major performance improvements.
As has been pointed out in the forums, the AMD Catalyst 11.7 Linux driver for Radeon and FirePro graphics hardware has been released this morning. What new features does this proprietary driver bring?
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.
gDEBugger, a program developed by Graphic Remedy for debugging, profiling, and analyzing OpenGL (and OpenCL) applications, was a very useful tool for graphics developer. gDEBugger worked with GPUs from all major vendors, is capable of locating graphics pipeline performance bottlenecks, allowed dynamically editing GLSL shaders in real-time, and had many other capabilities. This powerful utility was even made free of charge to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux users. Graphic Remedy was acquired by AMD last month and already the non-Windows users have been shafted with their OS support being dropped.
Joining John Bridgman and Alex Deucher in working on the open-source driver stack at AMD are two new, but familiar, names: Michel Dänzer and Christian König. These two Linux graphics driver developers are now officially AMD employees.
AMD has this afternoon released the Catalyst 11.6 Linux driver.
There's more good news today beyond finally announcing "Dirndl" as PathScale open-sourcing the EKOPath 4 compiler: an important one-line commit just hit the xf86-video-ati DDX. This commit enables KMS color-tiling by default on all Radeon ASICs from the R600 series up through the latest Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" graphics processors.
In regards to the impressive open-source launch I alluded to yesterday, I am told by a company representative that "the ball is rolling" and it's being pushed to go out today. Though based upon the time now, and that the press release is going out via PRNewsWire, I would guess it may not hit the wire until midnight (EST). Regardless, the Phoronix information exposing this project we've codenamed "Dirndl" is ready.
One of the features of the soon-to-be-released Mesa 7.11 is a much more mature ATI/AMD Radeon "R600g" Gallium3D driver. This driver has received much work over the past six months and is becoming quite fit.
AMD has passed along word this morning that the AMD Embedded Solutions (AES) division has publicly released the XvBA Reference System Installer. This installer is meant to make it easy to evaluate AMD's X-Video Bitstream Acceleration API for accelerating video playback under Linux.
It wasn't only the Llano DRM/KMS kernel support that was pushed to the community by AMD today for their next-generation Fusion hardware, but the Mesa/Gallium3D support has landed in place too. This code was pushed into Mesa master (meaning it will hit the Mesa 7.11 release) and there was also the X.Org bits landing in the xf86-video-ati DDX.
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.
Some Linux users seem to think that next week, Advanced Micro Devices will be open-sourcing -- something -- relating to their graphics stack. Firmware? ATI Avivo? OpenCL / Stream work? UVD unit specifications?
989 AMD news articles published on Phoronix.