In what has become an unfortunate tradition for the past few releases, prior to the release of Ubuntu 10.10, AMD provided Canonical with a pre-release of their latest proprietary Catalyst driver at the time. They have done this to fix some major bugs, but primarily to provide a working ATI/AMD proprietary graphics driver that will run against their latest Ubuntu Linux release as usually their latest public releases at the time do not support Ubuntu's kernel and/or X.Org Server. With Maverick Meerkat, which was released yesterday, there is a pre-release of the Catalyst 10.10 Linux driver, which will not be released to the general public until later in October.
Besides Linux drivers for gaming peripherals (like mice and other things) being an area where Linux tends to struggle compared to the level of support and functionality offered under Windows, enthusiast-oriented programs for being able to overclock your CPU and RAM is another area where Linux really provides no suitable alternatives to the plethora of Windows utilities. There is though a new open-source program for manipulating certain AMD CPUs under Linux.
We've said it a few times already that the R600g driver continues to advance, but this open-source Gallium3D graphics driver that provides hardware acceleration for ATI R600/R700/Evergreen ASICs (the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 graphics cards) has now received another huge boost with what has been dubbed as the "new design" and with the latest Mesa Git code these new code paths are used by default.
While most of the exciting action for open-source graphics now occurs within the Linux kernel for the DRM and KMS and there is all the work being poured into the 3D side via classic Mesa and Gallium3D drivers, the DDX drivers continue to play a role for 2D acceleration and other X.Org features. AMD's Alex Deucher today has announced the first xf86-video-ati driver update in quite a while and that bumps it to version 6.13.2.
Three years ago from today marked the introduction of the RadeonHD driver, the first open-source X.Org driver for the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) and Radeon HD 2000 (R600) series graphics cards. This driver came as part of AMD's open-source strategy (the strategy's third birthday was celebrated earlier this month) and with loads of public documentation for their ATI graphics processors. The RadeonHD driver was developed by Novell's X team from Nürnberg with support from AMD, but sadly it will not be celebrating its third birthday today since the RadeonHD driver was killed off.
While most of the open-source Linux graphics drivers are currently in Toulouse for the 2010 X.Org Developers' Summit, David Airlie of Red Hat Australia is not among those in attendance. He, however, is continuing to work on one of his latest efforts in conjunction with AMD: R600g, or the ATI R600/700/Evergreen Gallium3D driver. In the latest batch of Git commits to Mesa there is now a number of new features implemented.
AMD has just released their monthly proprietary Linux driver update, which this month puts it at Catalyst 10.9. The only new "feature" of AMD Catalyst 10.9 for Linux is early support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 (RHEL6), but there are some bug-fixes.
The Linux community is still in awe from today's announcement that Broadcom has released an open-source WiFi driver for their newest 802.11n chipsets after not backing any Linux support for their wireless hardware in years past. In the Phoronix IRC channel the question was jokingly begged if hell has frozen over, but now we have another announcement to share today, which makes us wonder if hell has really frozen over. No, we aren't sharing more news right now on Valve's Steam/Source Linux client that's still coming, but that there is now Gallium3D support for the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series!
While just earlier today we reported that the ATI Evergreen open-source 3D code may soon move into a Gallium3D driver while for now it's rather stagnate within the classic Mesa R600 driver, there is good news today to report from the Evergreen DRM/kernel side too. AMD's Alex Deucher has just released a patch to the Radeon DRM to enable blit support using the 3D engine for ATI Radeon HD 5000 series hardware.
AMD finally pushed out open-source 2D/3D acceleration code for Evergreen (a.k.a. the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards) last month, but since then these drivers haven't received too much attention. AMD's few open-source developers are beginning to turn their attention to supporting the Radeon HD 6000 series more promptly in the open-source world while the community developers seem to still have their attention on the Gallium3D driver for the ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 (R600/R700) hardware.
It was three years ago on this day that we were the first to detail AMD's open-source strategy. Yep, it's only been three years since AMD became public with pushing out NDA-free GPU documentation and register specifications, open-source code for the xf86-video-ati and Mesa drivers, and employed a small set of developers to contribute towards their open-source Linux stack. It was also three years ago from this month that the now deceased RadeonHD driver was launched.
Last month the Catalyst 10.7 driver for ATI Radeon/FirePro graphics cards brought Eyefinity support to consumer-grade graphics cards after it had been available within the Windows Catalyst drivers for months. Meanwhile, the Windows version of Catalyst 10.7 brought OpenGL ES 2.0 support so that web browsers can take advantage of it for accelerating HTML5 rendering and WebGL. While the Catalyst 10.7 for Linux release went without this support, it's been added to the just-released Catalyst 10.8 build.
Nearly two hours ago we shared the news that there's finally open-source 2D/3D/video acceleration for ATI's Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" family of graphics processors, which is currently the newest and best consumer-grade GPUs from AMD's GPG unit. At the time though only the xf86-video-ati DDX driver code was publicly pushed into a branch of the driver, but now the 3D portion of the code has publicly landed.
As was just talked about in announcing the open-source 2D and 3D support for ATI Evergreen GPUs, the R600g driver has been gaining lots of momentum in the past few weeks. Ever since this open-source Gallium3D driver that aims to provide hardware-acceleration for ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 (and potentially Radeon HD 5000 series) hardware took a shader compiler shortcut a few weeks back, it seems almost every time our RSS feed for the Mesa Git change-log refreshes there is a new R600g driver change.
AMD has released a new ATI Stream SDK this morning and, among other improvements, it features OpenCL 1.1 support. The OpenCL 1.1 specification was released by the Khronos Group back in June as the first major update to the Open Computing Language since it's original draft in 2008.
Martin-Éric Racine has just announced the release candidate of the X.Org Geode 2.11.9 driver in preparations for the X.Org 7.6 Katamari. The AMD Geode driver is not to be confused with the AMD/ATI Radeon drivers for Linux, but rather this is the driver Geode GX and Geode LX embedded SoC such as what's used by the One-Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. When announcing this driver, Martin-Éric has shared that AMD engineers are back to actually contributing work towards this driver.
As many people have been quick to report out today in the forums, on Phoronix IRC, and via email, the ATI R600 Mesa DRI driver for the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards now properly advertises OpenGL 2.1 / GL Shading Language 1.20 support.
Now that the Linux 2.6.36 kernel is set to ATI R600/700 tiling support within the Radeon DRM code, patches for hooking into this tiling support have been committed to the xf86-video-ati DDX and the classic Mesa DRI R600 drivers.
It was just one week ago that the R600g driver that is to provide open-source Gallium3D support to ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 (R600/700) graphics cards didn't do much as it's shader compiler was far from complete. However, after the author of this driver, Jerome Glisse, embarked on a new strategy, the the glxgears milestone was quickly hit.
As was widely anticipated, today AMD is rolling out their Catalyst 10.7 graphics driver for Windows and Linux platforms. On the Windows side, their Catalyst 10.7 rolls out support for OpenGL ES 2.0. ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 series graphics cards (along with the FirePro hardware) running Windows can now take advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 support with HTML5 for in-browser graphics rendering. However, that support hasn't yet made its way to the Catalyst Linux driver, but there are other changes packed away in this month's update.
Just days ago we reported on the lack of progress with the ATI R600g driver that intends to provide Gallium3D support for ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards, but fortunately today there has been some activity in the Mesa Git repository for this open-source driver and a statement issued by the lead developer (Jerome Glisse) about its progress and he also has shared a TODO list.
For months there has been the "R600g" driver that has been under development by the open-source community to create a Gallium3D hardware driver for the ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 (R600/700 generation) graphics cards similar to the "R300g" driver that supports the ATI Radeon graphics processors up through the X1000 (R500) series. We reported in late May that R600g was merged to Mesa master, but we haven't talked about this Gallium3D driver much since then so a reader this morning to ask in about its status.
Splitted Desktop Systems has updated their closed-source library that provides an XvBA back-end to a VA-API front-end so that those running the ATI Catalyst Linux driver are able to take advantage of the UVD2 video engine on newer Radeon HD graphics cards.
As the first stable open-source ATI X.Org driver update since the release of xf86-video-ati 6.13.0 back in April, David Airlie has today announced the immediate release of xf86-video-ati 6.13.1. This new driver update while a stable point release update does bring some notable changes.
Apologizes that the monthly Catalyst release news is not near-instantaneous as usual as I had been getting back from Germany for LinuxTag and other business, but Catalyst 10.6 was released today. This June update actually brings some notable changes unlike releases found in the past few months.
It was over two years ago that AMD first released its R500 3D programming documentation to the general public without any NDAs, which was followed by the R600/700 3D documentation along with older R300-class documents as well. While we have yet to see proper 3D programming documentation for the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" GPUs that were released last year, the R500 3D documentation continues to be revised.
Over the past few days we have had a number of new open-source ATI Radeon support upbringings to report on including the ATI R600/700 Gallium3D driver being merged, voltage control for managing the power on newer ATI GPUs, and the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series Mesa code coming soon, but the slew of open-source ATI news is not over yet.
While the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" graphics cards launched last September, the proprietary Catalyst driver supported the new GPUs since they began appearing in retail channels, and Evergreen KMS support has been available since February, the open-source 2D/3D acceleration support for these newest ATI graphics cards have been non-existent. Fortunately, however, that is finally changing.
Those owners of ATI Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series (R600/700) graphics cards not only have a reason to celebrate today over the voltage adjustment support to improve their GPU power management, but there's another reason too. The Radeon R600 Gallium3D driver known as "R600g" has been merged to Mesa's mainline "master" code-base.
Earlier this month we reported on vastly improved ATI power management support within the open-source Radeon graphics driver stack for Linux that now supports dynamic power management along with different power management profiles. Following that we provided a detailed look at the ATI Linux power management support with plenty of charts showing how the power management is working out with this latest open-source code.
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