The RadeonHD crew yesterday released xf86-video-radeonhd 1.2.0 while the xf86-video-ati developers (mainly Alex Deucher) have been working on a few commits for their competing driver. There have been about a dozen commits to this driver tree in the past 24 hours. The changes mostly come down to EXA/TexturedVideo improvements as well as some code cleaning. If you use this driver, be sure to check out the latest development code.
Committed to the xf86-video-radeonhd git tree today have been 17 changes to this open-source ATI R500/600 graphics driver. AMong the changes are adding full support for the RS690 IGP family, support for interlaced modes, and better support for LVTMA TMDS macro control values. All of the changes with today's drivers can be found in their public git tree at FreeDesktop.org. IRC logs from the RadeonHD channel are available at RadeonHD.org.
When it comes to ATI open-source power management, so far AMD's open-source kindness has just yielded a list of registers but no proper documentation or how PowerPlay exactly works. However, AMD's Alex Deucher has just committed "Dynamic Clocks" support for the Radeon R500 and R600 graphics cards. Dynamic Clocks just provides dynamic clock gating and static power management, permitting the graphics card supports this capability. With some graphics cards it's already been setup through the video BIOS, so today's work isn't relevant to everyone. Dynamic Clocks is not nearly as elaborate as PowerPlay, but it's a good start for the xf86-video-ati driver.
In late February AMD had released the much anticipated R500 3D programming guide followed my two minor revisions to it over the past month. Today AMD has released another revision to the R500 3D programming guide, which now includes expanded coverage of the Command Processor (CP) found on the R500 graphics processors. Version 1.3 of this documentation can be downloaded from X.Org.
For those using motherboards with the AMD RS690 IGP, the DDIA Digital Block is now supported by the RadeonHD (xf86-video-radeonhd) driver. DDIA is the second digital block on this IGP that came as a mystery to both AMD and the RadeonHD developers as they believed no motherboard vendors were actually using this block. With this latest code addition, two displays should now work with the RS690 in an independent fashion. Check out the latest xf86-video-radeonhd git code if you're one of these RS690 owners. A few other code fixes were also committed this afternoon.
Last Thursday, David Airlie achieved hardware-accelerated glxgears on an open-source R500 Mesa implementation based upon the earlier R300 code. This is a big step forward for open-source 3D on these newer ATI Radeon graphics cards, but it's still a work in progress. However, this morning David Airlie has merged his Mesa/DRM work to the mainline DRM branch. This work, previously housed in his personal git tree under the branch "r500-fp", can now be found in the master Mesa/DRM git. His Mesa work (in the "r500test" branch) still hasn't been merged to master as there is more work to be done on that side.
Alex Deucher has been working on delivering full EXA Composite support for the Radeon driver and today the first bits of this work are available via his personal git repository. The full EXA Composite not only covers the R300 and R400 generations, but it already supports the Radeon X1000 (R500) graphics cards! In Alex's blog post he mentions that some blend combinations still need to be debugged, but the R300/400 support in general is pretty solid. For the R500 support, full EXA compositing is working for some graphics cards but not others. For those interested in trying out this latest Radeon work, check out the r3xx-render branch (well, until it gets merged to master). On the other side of the table, currently the RadeonHD driver lacks full EXA Composite support.
In the Phoronix Forums following Friday's release of the (NDA-free) ATI R300 3D register information, AMD's John Bridgman has confirmed that he is looking to release documentation going back to the ATI Radeon 8500 era graphics processors. Years ago ATI had released this R200 documentation to the open-source driver developers at the time, but it was encumbered by legal restrictions.
At CeBIT 2008 in Germany, AMD today announced the 780 Series Chipset. This budget-minded motherboard chipset, which is compatible with Quad-Core Phenom CPUs but a step-down from the 790FX Chipset, takes on gaming and high-definition computing for mainstream PC users on both the desktop and mobile platforms. What is special though about this chipset is its support for AMD's Hybrid Graphics Technology.
Less than a week after AMD introduced its R300-500 3D programming guide, they have today pushed out a revised 3D programming guide. This updated documentation covers more vertex program formats than the v1.1 draft that had come out just before FOSDEM 2008. This addition adds four pages onto the 3D documentation, making it now 266 pages long. This documentation can be downloaded from the AMD developer website.
Since AMD openly released the R300-R500 3D programming documents this past Friday, it has led to a flurry of improvements with the xf86-video-ati "Radeon" driver. On the same day as the document release, Textured Video for the R100-400 series was committed to master followed by Textured Video for the R500 series the next morning (and Rotate support as well). Succeeding that work over the past few days has been many commits to the xf86-video-ati tree. These 30+ commits mostly contain fixes and filling in previously unknown areas. The Mach64 and r128 drivers, which previously could be found in xf86-video-ati have been split out and are now housed in xf86-video-mach64 and xf86-video-r128, respectively. Clipping for Textured Video in the Radeon driver has also been corrected. If you extensively use the open-source Radeon driver for the R100-500 series, you may want to check out the latest xf86-video-ati driver from git.
When John Bridgman mentioned at his FOSDEM talk that Textured Video support may be arriving soon, we didn't realize that it would end up being just hours away! Shortly after Alex Deucher had committed R100-400 Textured Video support, David Airlie went ahead and implemented Textured Video support for the R500 series. Furthermore, Rotate support has also been added by David for the R500 series. Note, however, that there may be a bug in the clipping with the current Rotate support. The R500 Textured Video support already is great news to see coming just a day after the AMD 3D document release.
We reported earlier today from FOSDEM that Alex Deucher had been successful in getting Textured Video (X-Video) with the Radeon driver on R300 class hardware and that the R500/600 series could even support it in the near future. Well, support for Textured Video on the R100 to R400 has today landed into the xf86-video-ati git tree. This TexturedVideo support, which can be used by any video player that supports using X-Video, was derived from Eric Anholt's KDrive ATI video code. If you're an R100-400 owner interested in improved open-source video playback, be sure to check out the latest code and report your results. This commit today doesn't introduce the support for the R500/600 series quite yet.
With the Friday night release of the R300-500 3D programming documentation, which open-source developers have already been pleased by, what will be AMD's next strategic OSS move? AMD is still in the process of releasing an R600 3D programming guide, Tcore, the bottom layer of the fglrx driver (possibly), and other information. These efforts are all to better enable the open-source community in developing the R500+ RadeonHD driver and further enriching the R300/400 Radeon driver. They have also stated their intentions on releasing sensor information so that ATI graphics cards with supported temperature probes and fan controllers can be supported by LM_Sensors.
In another move of good faith for the open-source community, AMD has today announced it has opened up their once proprietary AMD Performance Library. The AMD Performance Library, or APL for short, has been opened up under the name of Framewave. AMD's press release drumming up this announcement describes its goal as " to further enable the performance-optimized APL and expand its functionality beyond the existing core media capabilities, ensuring developers have an accelerated conduit to high performance application development." The AMD Performance Library / Framewave covers a multitude of operations from simple math operations to media processing and optimizations for multi-core environments. Among the supported operations are H.264 video decoding. The Framewave project is housed over at SourceForge and at the AMD Developer Center.
It's been a long time in the making, but the xf86-video-ati driver has finally reached version 6.8.0! The major improvements in this new version include the drivers now all using libpciaccess, restructuring of the ATI wrapper, Radeon support for the R500/600 series using the AtomBIOS, initial Render acceleration support for the R300/400 series, improve BIOS/driver interaction, and many other changes. More information can be found in the Xorg release announcement.
While the Radeon R700 series of graphics processors aren't yet available, it's getting closer to release, and yesterday the ALSA development tree picked up support for HDMI audio on the R700 series. This patch, which was submitted by one of AMD's engineers, adds support for the RV710, RV730, RV740, and RV770 GPUs. This support can be found in the hda-intel driver in the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). The Radeon R600 series was first to introduce an embedded audio processor for use when using the HDMI adapter (Using HDMI With ATI Linux Drivers). Support for the R600 series has already been in ALSA.
AMD has today launched their new open GPU documentation website for register-level documents covering their ATI Radeon products. In addition, they are now providing an email address for any open-source developers who may have questions concerning these documents. No new documents are being published today, but this page is just offering up the previously-released M56, M76, RV630, and RS690 documentation from their previous two drops. The 3D (and R600 2D) "tcore" documentation should be released soon though (FOSDEM? :)).
From Revenge to stacks being called workspace areas in AMD's documentation was discussed today on the RadeonHD IRC channel. If you're interested in the latest development information on the RadeonHD driver and open-source AMD, the IRC channel is certainly worth monitoring. Specifically, among the topics that were brought up include AtomBIOS parsing, tcore, and the RadeonHD 3D support. It was also expressed that documentation covering AtomBIOS may be cleaned up in the future and opened up to the community, while the Novell developers have had this information for some months.
In a git commit this afternoon by Joachim Deguara, an AMD Linux software engineer, support for the new Radeon HD 3870 X2 has been added. As we shared yesterday, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 is the new high-end ATI graphics card but is composed of two Radeon HD 3870 GPU cores. The problem for Linux users, however, boils down to the lack of CrossFire support under Linux in both the open and closed source drivers. This git commit simply adds in the PCI ID and other standard information about the graphics card. The RadeonHD driver will only take advantage of one of the GPUs, thereby defeating the benefits of the X2 over the vanilla HD 3870.
For those of you using the RadeonHD driver with a Radeon X1000 (R500) graphics card, today it has picked up EXA and XAA support! This support is still very initial -- with no EXA accelerated (DMAed) up or download yet -- but it means the start of open-source 2D acceleration for these ATI graphics cards. The git commits pushing this XAA/EXA support were made just minutes ago to xf86-video-radeonhd on FreeDesktop's server. This support has also been announced on the RadeonHD mailing list. Furthermore, there is additional commentary in the RadeonHD IRC channel logs. This accelerated support at this time is not available for the Radeon HD 2000 (R600) series.
After a Linux user had read about the open-source RS690 3D support found in the Radeon driver (xf86-video-ati), he had asked on the RadeonHD mailing list what are the differences between these two open-source ATI/AMD drivers. This has led to messages from both sides and implications that the Radeon driver is cutting corners and little to no cooperation between the two driver teams at this point. However, the initial R500 2D acceleration and DRM support that will appear in the RadeonHD driver will be ported from the Radeon driver.
Coming less than a week after the introduction of the Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series, AMD has today introduced the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics card. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 combines two Radeon HD 3870 GPUs on a single PCB and are connected via CrossFire Technology. This new high-end AMD graphics card is the first to break the Teraflop barrier yet costs under $500 USD. However, unlike the Radeon HD 3400/3600 series, the Linux support for the HD 3870 X2 can be questioned.
David Airlie has just mentioned on his blog that there is now initial open-source 3D support for the RS690 chipset. AMD's RS690 is an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) found on some motherboards and has been somewhat popular for HTPC/media purposes. While the RS690 is part of the 6xx series, it has R500 era mode-setting with a stripped-down R400 era 3D core. Currently, this open-source 3D support is similar to the RS400 series with glxgears and some 3D applications working, but don't look for any desktop eye-candy through Compiz (it's not quite that far, yet).
If you've been running into problems building the Fedora RPMs for the ATI Catalyst 8.01 Linux driver, check out the latest packaging scripts available at Phorogit. The latest commit on January 20 adds the new amdnotifyui file to RPM SPEC file, which should address the build issue that crept into the Fedora 8.01 scripts. This information is available through the Phorogit viewer or by running git-clone http://phorogit.com/repo/fglrx-packaging.git. If you run into any other technical issues, be sure to stop by the Phoronix Forums.
Alex Deucher has announced that he has added initial EXA Render Accel for R300/400 graphics cards to the open-source xf86-video-ati driver. Initially this work only supports transforms for rotation, with no blending support yet. Eventually, this will also be something of benefit for R500 (Radeon X1000) owners as well. This latest code can be found in the xf86-video-ati git tree at FreeDesktop.org. If you run into any problems with this driver, be sure to report them on the Radeon IRC channel. Props go out to Alex, Wolke Liu, and David Airlie for this R300/400 EXA Render Accel work.
The open-source R500 support from the Radeon driver, now includes TV-Out capabilities. Through a series of three commits this morning to the xf86-video-ati git tree, TV-Out support is now detected through the AtomBIOS. Reading the TV standard is also done through this Video BIOS abstraction layer. If you're interested in having open-source TV-Out support on your R500 graphics card, be sure to check out the latest git code. The RadeonHD driver has yet to support this functionality. David Airlie has blogged about these three commits he authored and additional information is in the Radeon IRC channel.
While we were hopeful that AMD would release the next set of GPU documentation in time for Christmas, we've just been informed that the pending M76 / RS690 specifications will be released by the end of next week. As we mentioned with the RadeonHD 1.1 driver release, this drop will also contain sample code so that DRM work can be underway for the ATI R500 and R600 series. We'll share the complete details on this drop once it has occurred. This will be the second documentation drop since AMD announced they would be providing specifications without NDAs. The first drop had consisted of 900+ pages of register reference guides for the M56 and RV630.
On top of AMD releasing the Catalyst 7.12 Linux driver, the ATI 6.7.197 driver being released, and the AtomBIOS R500/600 support being merged to master, the RadeonHD driver is beginning to support the RV670 GPU, which is used by the Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870. The PCI IDs have been added as well as adding the PLL control values, TMDSB electrical values, and TMDSA electrical values. If you're using one of these new ATI PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards, be sure to check out the latest code from the xf86-video-radeonhd git tree.
Following the release of xf86-video-ati 6.7.197 just moments ago, David Airlie has merged the AtomBIOS support branch back to the xf86-video-ati master branch. What this means is that the Radeon X1000 (R500) and HD 2000 (R600) support (even with the Radeon HD 2900XT) is now in the mainline Radeon driver and when using git you no longer need to switch to this separate branch and will be included in the ATI 6.7.198 driver release and later. This AtomBIOS branch merge can be viewed on the FreeDesktop.org gitweb. If you run into problems with the latest xf86-video-ati code, report it in the Radeon IRC channel and you can also share your experiences on the Phoronix Forums.
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