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?
Red Hat's David Airlie, on the behalf of AMD, pushed out the xf86-video-ati 6.14.2 driver last night.
It was last December that AMD had unveiled their newest "Cayman" graphics processors, which at launch powered the Radeon HD 6950 and Radeon HD 6970 graphics cards. The open-source driver support for Cayman GPUs had lagged behind the rest of the Radeon HD 6000 series "Northern Islands", but in February there was Cayman programming documentation released and in March there was then Cayman kernel mode-setting support. Only today is the AMD Cayman GPUs now getting up to speed with supporting hardware acceleration on the open-source driver stack.
AMD's Alex Deucher has published a set of eighteen patches to the DRI development list that are primarily focused on fixing up the DisplayPort (DP) and Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) capabilities of the Radeon DRM/KMS driver in the Linux kernel.
Not all German Linux users and developers were busy the past few days drinking beer and eating Ubuntu pickles and blood sausage, but Christian König has made some more progress in his video playback work for the Radeon Gallium3D driver.
AMD's John Bridgman has now confirmed that they have hired two open-source developers. These two new development hires was done previous to the announcement a few days ago that they are still looking for another open-source developer to work on their open-source Linux (kernel DRM, Mesa / Gallium3D, DDX) stack for Radeon graphics hardware.
For anyone wanting to join John Bridgman's team to work on the open-source Radeon graphics drivers for Linux, there's still openings.
The AMD Catalyst 11.5 Linux driver was released yesterday afternoon. Catalyst 11.4 was only released about two weeks back, but the monthly Catalyst update for May has already arrived, so does it not bring much?
While X.Org Server 1.10 has been out since February, AMD missed supporting it until it came time for Ubuntu 11.04 and then late last month they ended up dropping a Catalyst 11.4 pre-release to Ubuntu Natty users. Today is the official release date for Catalyst 11.4 Linux to anyone interested. This contains back-ported X.Org Server 1.10 support in order to function with Ubuntu 11.04, Fedora 16, Arch Linux, etc.
Christian König, the independent German developer who's known for being the first to provide open-source Radeon HDMI audio support back in the RadeonHD driver days and later to KMS, last October began working on R600 Gallium3D video acceleration. He quickly brought up XvMC R600g video acceleration when porting some of the earlier XvMC R300g work. While not yet merged to mainline, XvMC on R600 Gallium3D is usable, but now he's looking towards his next target: VDPAU support for the R600 Gallium3D driver.
Back on Tuesday, AMD officially rolled out their "Turks" graphics processors with the launch of the Radeon HD 6570 and Radeon HD 6670 graphics cards. On Wednesday the Phoronix review of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 was published under Ubuntu Linux, but using the proprietary Catalyst driver. Open-source testing wasn't done at that time due to only having the graphics card since Monday. But do these new AMD Turks GPUs work with the open-source Linux driver stack, including Gallium3D?
AMD has announced today they have open-sourced Tapper from their Operating System Research Center.
AMD has just released a Catalyst hot-fix driver for Linux users on this binary blob. This is the "AMD Catalyst 11.4b" driver.
As mentioned this morning when AMD provided Canonical with a Catalyst 11.4 driver pre-release for proprietary Radeon / FirePro support under Ubuntu 11.04, there's more than just support for Linux 2.6.38 kernel and X.Org Server 1.10. This Linux driver update also provides support for AMD PowerXpress with dual-GPU notebooks.
As talked about at length yesterday, the Catalyst 11.3 driver that was just released is not compatible with the X.Org Server 1.10 final ABI. What this means is that this proprietary Linux driver update will not work on Ubuntu 11.04, Fedora 15, and other Linux distributions experiencing major updates. AMD for at least the past seven Ubuntu releases has been seeding Canonical with driver pre-releases to meet the support deadline on new versions of this popular Linux operating system. Over last night, they did this once more.
While AMD released the Catalyst 11.3 driver this morning, if you're an early adopter of Ubuntu 11.04, Fedora 15, or any other Linux distribution shipping with xorg-server 1.10, the proprietary Radeon / FirePro driver remains incompatible.
With the month ending, Linux users were beginning to wonder where is this month's proprietary driver update, but AMD's web team has just uploaded the Catalyst 11.3 binary Linux driver. What's changed though in this month's update? Read on to find out.
The discussion surrounding issues with the Linux kernel DRM code has been quite interesting. From the 40+ comments so far, there's been some interesting feedback from some of the key open-source driver developers along with AMD. In particular, the generation to succeed the next-generation of AMD graphics processors (what will be the "Radeon HD 8000 series" if they continue with the same marketing names) should be a pivotal moment for AMD's open-source strategy.
Alex Deucher has made available the xf86-video-ati 6.14.1 open-source Radeon driver update this afternoon.
Some may have noticed that hours before Linus released the Linux 2.6.38 kernel, he pulled the latest DRM-fixes code, which included fixes by David Airlie for my Fusion graphics problem last week and another Fusion graphics issue I reported over the weekend. So does Linux 2.6.38 kernel work now with the Fusion Zacate system?
NVIDIA isn't the only one looking to expand its Linux team, but AMD is now in a mad dash to dramatically ramp up its engineering teams. AMD has been looking to hire at least another open-source developer in recent months to work on its graphics stack, but Advanced Micro Devices has now announced they're looking to hire over one thousand "tech professionals" where the software engineers are skilled in Linux and open-source development.
If you have been thinking about picking up a motherboard with one of AMD's new Fusion E-350 "Zacate" APUs to use with the open-source Fusion driver, you may want to hold off for a bit or be forewarned that it could be a bumpy ride.
Nearly two months ago AMD released Radeon HD 6000 series open-source support -- complete with kernel mode-setting and Mesa/Gallium3D OpenGL driver acceleration support -- but this support had only covered the "Northern Islands" ASICs and not the newest Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" graphics processors. Cayman's design is much different from the Northern Islands and previous-generation Evergreen GPUs, but the open-source support for these highest-end AMD graphics processors is beginning to emerge.
As some non-OpenBenchmarking.org news this weekend, committed to the mainline Mesa Git repository for Mesa 7.11 is support for OpenGL instanced drawing within the ATI R600 Gallium3D driver.
Back in 2008 we were the first to thoroughly talk about AMD's X-Video Bitstream Acceleration (XvBA) API found in their Catalyst Linux driver to expose their UVD2 video engine now under non-Windows operating systems. However, when the XvBA library was made available, it was next to useless since they hadn't published the documentation or any header files describing this video playback acceleration interface. A year later, in November of 2009, AMD and Splitted Desktop Systems released a VA-API front-end to XvBA so that VA-API multi-media applications could seamlessly use XvBA with the Catalyst driver.
AMD has just issued their Catalyst 11.2 Linux driver update. It's now available from AMD.com but their release notes as usual are of little use, so here's the Phoronix scoop on this month's update.
While there is not integrated support for S3 Texture Compression (S3TC) support fully integrated into the Mesa / Gallium3D code-base over patents covering the algorithm, there are Mesa drivers that support hooking into an external S3TC library. This external S3TC support requires setting a special variable in the build process and building the S3TC library (named libtxc_dxtn.so) after obtaining the code from an independent source. This move shifts the legal burden from the Mesa developers and onto the user.
A few days ago when publishing the results of benchmarking a lot of graphics cards on their Gallium3D drivers (about a dozen graphics cards) this left a number of people surprised. A number of these results from the open-source Gallium3D drivers illustrated the older graphics processors as being much faster than the newer hardware, even though the newer hardware is far superior to the vintage products. This shouldn't have been a surprise if you stay up-to-date with the Linux graphics news on Phoronix, but it comes down to features found in the older Gallium3D drivers not yet implemented in the newer open-source drivers.
AMD has put out their first public documentation concerning their Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" series graphics processors. This 492 page document describes the Cayman instruction set architecture. We have also received an update at Phoronix from AMD concerning the Radeon HD 6900 series open-source support under Linux.
If you use the open-source ATI Linux graphics driver, there's a major stable update available. At long last, xf86-video-ati 6.14.0 has been released. This open-source X.Org driver brings official support for the Radeon HD 5000 series, Radeon HD 6000 series, and AMD Fusion Ontario hardware. This release also has a plethora of bug-fixes and flips on the KMS page-flipping support.
1110 AMD news articles published on Phoronix.