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.
For those of you not interested in today's ATI Catalyst 10.5 for Linux driver, if you pull the very latest open-source ATI Radeon Linux graphics driver stack there is now tiling support for the R600/700 (Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series) graphics processors.
AMD has just put out their Catalyst 10.5 Linux driver update. Unfortunately, there isn't anything too exciting in this release.
The R600 Gallium3D driver for ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 graphics cards is not yet in a state for testing by end-users unlike the R300 Gallium3D driver that is running great these days. However, it is slowly getting there.
For years we have been talking about open-source ATI Radeon power management for their Linux driver and it's finally all coming to fruition. Back in April of 2008 we talked about dynamic clocks coming to R500+ ASICs and various other initiatives to improve the Radeon power management in their DDX driver, but everything got shook up with the migration to their ATI kernel mode-setting driver, which finally now allows for real power management capabilities.
Last year a new set of DRI2 extensions came about for sync and swap support of display buffers to better reduce potential "tearing" that may appear on displays in some composited environments. This work that's exposed to the client through OpenGL/GLX extensions also can lead to improved performance, video memory savings, and other benefits as talked about extensively on the Composite Swap Wiki page. A new GLX swap event extension also came about out of expressed needs by the Clutter/Mutter developers.
Earlier this week we reported that Novell was finally dropped the RadeonHD driver from openSUSE as they switch to using the xf86-video-ati driver with kernel mode-setting (KMS) support over using their in-house R500/600/700 driver they had developed as part of AMD's initial open-source strategy for Linux. Whenever bringing up the RadeonHD driver at Phoronix it generally leads to a heated discussion in our forums between community members, developers, and other representatives over the history of the RadeonHD driver and what really was its purpose, among other dissenting views.
While early adopters of Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" have had access to the Catalyst 10.4 Linux driver for more than a month (in fact, two pre-releases) this afternoon AMD has officially released their April Linux driver.
The last time we talked about the open-source ATI power management support was a month ago when we shared that the in-kernel Radeon support started to utilize the I2C support and provided GUI idle IRQ support, support for changing the GPU clocks when the engine is idle, and support for turning down the number of active SIMDS when running in a lower power stage for the ATI R600 ASICs and later. Days later the initial thermal monitoring support came about along with other Radeon DRM changes. This month we now have more reliable memory re-clocking support.
If you've been wanting to get involved with the open-source ATI Radeon driver development process or you simply want a better understanding of how the open-source Linux graphics drivers work (particularly for ATI hardware), there's some great reading material for you this morning.
Just hours ago we reported on AMD's position for the Gallium3D driver architecture according to John Bridgman, but some of his comments may now be different considering their Gallium3D adoption plans. After sending off that email with his Gallium3D comments, he learned that the Evergreen (a.k.a. Radeon HD 5000 series) support upbringing will be slightly different than planned.
1050 AMD news articles published on Phoronix.