While most of the open-source ATI/AMD excitement these days is all about the RadeonHD driver, Alex Deucher is working on a few interesting changes for the Radeon (R200/300/400 hardware) driver. The latest Radeon driver available through git now attempts to handle the status of laptop lids to prevent a BIOS problem while the driver is loaded. However, this will only work right now if you boot with the lid closed. Alex has also merged the r128 driver into the Radeon driver, with mode-setting and MMIO acceleration now functioning. DRI and X-Video should also be working for r128 hardware using the Radeon driver in the near future. Some of the benefits of this merger include RandR 1.2 support for the r128, TV-Out support, better BIOS table support, and one less driver to PCI rework. More on the Radeon driver work can be found in Alex Deucher's new blog and all of the recent changes can be found in the FreeDesktop.org git for the xf86-video-ati driver.
Committed to the xf86-video-radeonhd driver this morning has been another series of fixes and other improvements for this open-source AMD R500/600 driver. Some memory leaks in the driver have been fixed, ConnectorTable is now known as ConnectorInfo, the AtomBIOS test code was removed now that the AtomBIOS parser is working, compiler complaint fixes, and other changes are now in the git tree. If you're running the RadeonHD driver now, be sure to update and if you're not but are running R500/600 hardware, be sure to check out the git and let the RadeonHD developers know how it's working for you.
While AtomBIOS, AMD's library for providing effective firmware processes from the BIOS (that we originally detailed in this article), has been present in the RadeonHD driver's tree for a few weeks, it's now starting to be used more. Changes to the open-source R500/600 driver this morning now use AtomBIOS for obtaining clock limit data for calculating pixel clocks and LVDS parameters for panels. The algorithm for searching for valid PLL dividers has also been changed. Though in the mailing list release announcement, the Novell developers are still have a lot of work left with solving all of the clock programming problems. The second change with LVDS panel information from the AtomBIOS will hopefully make the need for the device tables unnecessary.
Alex Deucher has pushed out another release candidate for the xf86-video-ati driver designed for the pre-R500 ATI Radeon GPUs (not to be confused with RadeonHD). In total there are 29 changes for the xf86-video-ati 6.7.195 release candidate -- 19 of them are targeted for the Radeon driver, 9 for the Mach64, and one being for the rc410. The most notable changes for this release include fixing the support for the single CRTC graphics cards, LVDS/RMX is finally sorted out, and pci-rework for ati_msic/radeon. The PowerPC build has also been fixed in this X.Org ATI driver release. Alex had mentioned in the 6.7.195 release announcement that the xf86-video-ati 6.8.0 driver will be released as soon as all of the sub drivers are ported to using pci-rework.
If you're a developer or an experimental user running the RadeonHD Linux driver and have been plagued by cursor problems, check out the latest xf86-video-radeonhd git code. Novell's Matthias Hopf has committed several changes to this open-source AMD R500/600 driver today that pertain to cursor-related fixes and improvements.
While the Novell developers are hoping to have stable 2D working with the RadeonHD driver by the end of the year, much more work will be needed once AMD delivers the rest of the specifications they have promised. Brought up on the RadeonHD mailing list this morning was whether it would be worth it if a user bought an R600 now or not. AMD's next-generation graphics processors will be out before the R500/600 series has an open-source working 3D driver, so is it a better bet waiting for the R700 series (Radeon HD 3000, perhaps)? Granted, the fglrx driver now has R600 support. The R700 is based upon the R600 (Radeon HD 2000) architecture, so it hopefully won't be too much work to implement its functionality -- especially if AMD delivers the R700 specifications to the community in a timely fashion. The ATI R700 is expected in the first half of 2008. While it's been a while waiting for open-source R500 and R600 support, we finally have basic 2D support and 3D should be expected for next year, the waiting for the R700 open-source support will hopefully be dramatically shorter. Once everything arrives, it should be benchmarking heaven here at Phoronix :).
With the availability of the RadeonHD driver, Jerome Glisse (the xf86-video-avivo maintainer) has declared the X.Org Avivo driver dead, but that's not preventing some postmortem changes. There hasn't been any real activity with this open-source R500 driver in about two to three weeks when AMD's open specifications had helped the developers. Earlier this week, however, there was a fix in the Avivo CRTC mode-setting and today support for the Radeon HD 2300 was added. The Avivo driver doesn't support the R600 series, but the Radeon HD 2300 is actually based upon the R500 architecture. The Radeon HD 2300PRO simply worked by adding its PCI ID to the driver. Both of these commits are rather trivial and doesn't ignite any hopes that the Avivo driver may make a comeback (especially with the rapid progress of the RadeonHD driver).
As there's been a RadeonHD article at least once a week (from the Ubuntu installation to the Conntest utility) on Phoronix since the RadeonHD driver was introduced, it's almost becoming a weekly progress report here for this official AMD open-source R500 and R600 driver.
Alex Deucher has released the xf86-video-ati 6.7.194 RC driver. This open-source Radeon driver has initial support for Apples's Mac Mini, fixed Xv crasher, a number of LVDS fixes, and external TMDS should work again. In total there are fifteen changes for this release. Alex believes that the next xf86-video-ati gold release is coming soon. You can read his announcement with download links on the xorg mailing list.
Committed to the RadeonHD driver tree today is a new utility for testing the status of connectors on R500 and R600 graphics cards. This utility is called conntest and inside the xf86-video-radeonhd branch it is found inside utils/conntest. With root privileges, to execute conntest just run it with the PCI tag argument when your monitor(s) is connected to the different video output ports. Conntest should help the RadeonHD developers in working out the connection issues for the R500 and R600 GPUs due to four different outputs (DACA, DACB, TMDSA and LVTMA). Check out the RadeonHD driver's git code for the latest information.
Three days from now the new AMD-sponsored R500/600 driver being written by Novell should be unveiled, but in the meantime it's not stopping developers from continuing further work on the open-source Avivo driver. In the past two days there have been twenty-two commits to the Avivo driver's git repository. These commits fix TMDS register names and other changes based upon AMD's released specifications. As we have already shared with you before, the days of the Avivo driver are limited but the code will remain available after the new AMD open-source driver is out. We've been asked to no longer link to the FreeDesktop.org gitweb as it causes a "Phoronix Effect" with traffic that is apparently too much for their gitweb server to handle. However, hopefully you know the URL anyways so you can check out the latest open-source R500/600 driver code.
While the days of the Avivo driver are likely limited with the new open-source R500/600 driver, this driver has already improved marginally thanks to the publicly released RV630/M56 specifications. There wasn't a commit to the Avivo driver since two weeks ago, but Matthew Garrett took care of the AVIVO_VGA_MYSTERY registers with their real names and values thanks to this new documentation. The AVIVO_VGA_MYSTERY changes can be read about here. The new open-source driver that's being written so far by Novell should be released next week. In the meantime, be sure to check out the specifications (well, if 900+ pages of GPU register specifications interest you).
Ending off the X Developer Summit this year, Matthew Tippett handed off ATI's GPU specifications to David Airlie on a CD (as reported by Daniel Stone). However, the specifications are also now available on the Internet! At http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/ is the location of the documentation where you can freely download the files. Right now there is the RV630 Register Reference Guide and M56 Register Reference Guide. The RV630 Reference Guide is 434 pages long while the M56 Guide is 460 pages. Expect more documentation (and 3D specifications) to arrive shortly. The new open-source R500/600 driver will be released early next week. More information to come soon. Tell us what you think. For more information, read our ATI/AMD's New Open-Source Strategy Explained article.
AMD today has announced its first quad-core processor in the Opteron workstation series. AMD's first quad-core component has been for a while now as Barcelona , but officially it belongs to AMD's Opteron 2300 series. Accompanying their quad-core announcement is a new metric for determining power usage known as Average CPU Power (ACP). Accompanying the Opteron 2300 series are also new power-saving technologies such as AMD CoolCore Technology, Independent Dynamic Core Technology, and Dual Dynamic Power Management. Last but certainly not least, the Barcelona offers improved virtualization performance. In the near future at Phoronix we hope to be delivering Opteron 2300 benchmarks for Linux and Solaris. You can also find Linux benchmarks from Intel's first quad-core processor (known as Clovertown) in our Intel Xeon 5300 Series Preview. Find out more on this new AMD processor series in the AMD press release.
This morning at the X Developer Summit in the United Kingdom, Matthew Tippett and John Bridgman of AMD have announced that they will be releasing their ATI GPU specifications without any Non-Disclosure Agreements needed by the developers! In other words, their GPU specifications will be given to developers in the open. Therefore you shouldn't need to worry about another R200 incident taking place. The 2D specifications will be released very soon and the 3D ones will follow shortly. Specifications for ATI's R300 GPUs should also be out in the future. You may recall that we explained their new open-source strategy last week, but at that time it was still up in the air internally whether or not there would be an NDA for developers. Well, there won't be now so developers can freely access this information and use it for open-source work. Tell us what you think in the forums.
While no ATI fglrx driver is available for Solaris/OpenSolaris or *BSD, now that AMD will be offering up specifications to X.Org developers and an open-source driver, it certainly is promising for any Solaris user depending upon ATI's Radeon X1000 "R500" or HD 2000 "R600" series. The open-source X.Org driver that will be released next week is far from mature, but it should be able to be ported to Solaris and other operating systems using X.Org with relative ease. What AMD announced today is targeted for the Linux community, but it can certainly help out Solaris/OpenSolaris users that use ATI hardware. Especially with "Project Indiana" coming out soon, it's only a matter of time before the open-source R500/600 driver is ported. Tell us what you think in our Solaris forum.
It's been a glorious past couple of months for ATI Radeon X1000 owners that have had very basic open-source support provided by the Avivo display driver. However, it looks like the open-source Avivo driver will soon be going away to a bit-bucket heaven. If AMD sticks to their word, Jerome Glisse (the Avivo lead developer) will discontinue all work on the xf86-video-avivo driver. In fact, he said he "kind of stopped doing real work on it" already and is partially the reason why the Avivo v0.1 driver hasn't been released. He is, however, looking forward to contributing to a new yet to be named open-source driver. Jerome is doing this because he believes AMD is starting to truly work with the open-source community. We will disclose more information on the new open-source driver in just a few hours.
Well, by now you've probably seen our articles today -- AMD 8.41 Display Driver Preview, ATI R300/400 Linux Performance, ATI R500 Linux Performance, ATI Radeon HD 2900XT On Linux, and AMD: Accelerating Open-Source Drivers? -- but the fun is certainly not over. In the coming hours and days we will be delivering additional articles that talk about AMD/ATI's latest efforts in the Linux arena. These articles include Radeon HD 2400 and HD 2600 performance metrics, a Linux versus Windows performance comparison with the new driver, and other articles sought after by the community. There has also been some talk on the Internet about ATI specifications being released at the Linux Kernel Summit, and once our embargo expires (or we're otherwise permitted to talk about it) we will be covering what's up with ATI's open-source side as well. In the meantime be sure to take part in one of our active discussions taking place in the Phoronix Forums. If you have any questions about the new driver don't be afraid to ask.
Revenge, a clean-room reverse engineering utility being developed by Oliver McFadden for Radeon graphics cards, is nearing its 1.0 release. This utility is designed for reverse engineering the ATI graphics cards and their binary driver. Oliver is finishing up work on hardware and software identification, a revenge.sh script, and adding more tests/analysis work before releasing it as Revenge 1.0. Already on the road-map for Revenge 1.1 is texture dumping support. You can find Oliver's announcement on his Live Journal.
Dodji Seketeli and Jerome Glisse have completed porting the open-source "Avivo" R500 driver to libpciaccess, the new PCI infrastructure. Libpciaccess allows X.Org to access the PCI bus and devices with platform independence. Keith Packard has documented on the X.Org Wiki how to implement this new PCI infrastructure with X.Org graphics drivers. The git commit marking the completion of the libpciaccess changes for the Avivo driver can be viewed via gitweb.
With most of the open-source ATI Radeon driver development efforts focused on the RandR 1.2 branch, David Airlie has decided to merge the RandR 1.2 branch with the master tree. All of the Radeon driver activity has been around such things as TV-Out support and all of the RandR 1.2 goodies which resulted in the merge to master. The color problem on the R100/200 series with TV-Out was also fixed as well as other TV-Out fixes and a code cleanup.
Earlier today we told you about a TMDS fix to address some of the display issues present with the open-source "Avivo" R500 driver. Based upon the feedback in our ATI Linux forum this latest work was successful in eliminating some of the TMDS problems. Work has, however, continued in the day with additional fixes. Some bits of the Avivo driver code was cleaned up and the driver can now differentiate between connected digital and analog monitors, a BIOS initialization bit with TMDS_CNTL, and improving TMDS TMDS 0x7880 knowledge. The Avivo utility has also been updated with the latest TMDS register changes. Grab the latest source and technical changes from FreeDesktop.org and stop by the open-source forums for any troubleshooting or to report on the Avivo driver successes and failures.
Yesterday we told you about TMDS fixes for the Avivo driver to hopefully correct display-related problems. Well, a bug crept into the system when the TMDS1 registers were being adjusted when it should have been the TMDS2 registers. This bug was corrected this morning so check out the latest development code if you're still running into problems. Report your results in our open-source ATI/AMD forum with the results, where the lead Avivo developer is an active member of the Phoronix community.
Jerome Glisse (the lead Avivo driver developer) has fixed TMDS issues with the ATI Radeon X1000 series hardware. The latest Avivo git driver changes how the TMDS is programmed (see the git commit for more information). Another git commit updated the supported chipset list against AMD's official list, so all products in the ATI Radeon X1000 "R500" series should now have a PCI ID entry. Those of you experiencing any problems with your display in the past, be sure to try out this latest code and report back with your findings. Discuss in the forums.
Last week the TV-Out support for the Radeon driver was merged into the open-source Radeon RandR-1.2 driver. This TV-out support should work with all ATI graphics cards supported by the open-source driver. In Alex Deucher's list announcement he mentions that the driver will only work with composite and S-Video output and is currently limited to a resolution of 800 x 600. The TV output needs to be forced through xrandr right now. The latest commits to the Radeon RandR 1.2 branch can be found in their gitweb.
With a security vulnerability in ATI's Catalyst driver installer for Microsoft Windows Vista being exposed (dubbed the "purple pill"), engineers have been scurrying to address this problem. The Inquirer is reporting that the patched driver will be released tomorrow (Monday) and that it will be Catalyst 7.8 that gets released. Going by past tradition and what was shared in The Truth About ATI/AMD and Linux, if the ATI Catalyst 7.8 driver for Windows is released tomorrow, so will the next ATI Linux "fglrx 8.40" driver.
A month ago we told you that Avivo v0.1.0 (the open-source ATI R500 X1000 Linux driver) was coming soon, but still we have not seen this release. Talking with Jerome Glisse (the main Avivo developer), the v0.1.0 release is postponed until he or another willing open-source developer fixes issues with the Radeon X1200, X1300, X1400, and X1900 to allow for properly setting the TMDS on these graphics cards. The meaning of a few important registers are still not known. Jerome hasn't had time to work on the Avivo driver recently nor does he know when he will the available time. It looks like the Avivo open-source project could use some extra help.
At SIGGRAPH in San Diego, AMD has introduced five new ATI FireGL workstation graphics cards. These new R600-based FireGL products support Microsoft DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 2.1, up to 320 stream processors, AutoDetect functionality, and a 2GB frame-buffer. In 3D workstation benchmarks the new FireGL graphics cards are over 300% faster than their previous generation GPUs. These new AMD/ATI FireGL cards include the V3600, V5600, V7600, V8600, and the V8650. The FireGL V3600 will sell for $299 USD while the flagship V8650 will cost $2,799 USD. Availability is expected next month and for these new FireGL graphics cards you can expect Linux support to come with the new fglrx driver.
Earlier today we mentioned the recent xf86-video-ati driver commits and now David Airlie has announced on his blog that version 6.6.193 of the open-source Radeon driver has been released. Fixed in the xf86-video-ati 6.6.193 driver is 3D acceleration support for the ATI RS480 chipsets when using the newer version of Mesa as well as better VBL support for lowering power consumption. Like most software releases, there is also a number of bug fixes and code cleanups.
Aside from minor changes to the ATI Radeon driver man-page last month, there hasn't been too much to report on with this open-source X.Org driver (though there has been a wealth of happenings with the Avivo R500 driver). Today, however, there was some Radeon driver updates to the git tree. Luc Verhaegen had cleaned up PortInfo to CRTC mapping and sanitizing blanking and DPMS functions. Meanwhile, David Airlie cleaned up pieces of the DPMS/blank register programming, added "-Wall" for the GCC argument, removed unused variables, and updated the configuration file for what will be the ATI 6.6.193 driver release. All this work had occurred in the xf86-video-ati tree.
998 AMD news articles published on Phoronix.