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.
If NVIDIA releasing the 169.07 driver and AMD releasing the ATI Catalyst 7.12 driver wasn't enough today, the xf86-video-ati 6.7.197 driver is now available for download. We reported earlier this week that this new release candidate would be coming and today it finally has arrived. Since the ATI 6.7.196 RC release, there have been over three dozen changes to the xf86-video-ati driver. Some of the major changes in this release include improved PLL handling, better notebook lid detection via Linux ACPI, fixed EXA transforms, improved Mac support, and a good number of bug fixes. The release announcement can be read on the X.Org mailing list.
The xf86-video-radeonhd driver has today received support to handle HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) connectors. While if you've used a DVI to HDMI dongle with the RadeonHD driver it would have worked already (as we shared in our recent ATI HDMI Linux article) this support is for those with integrated connectors. As the git commit says, HDMI connectors are treated like DVI connectors and this is just a simple patch that adds this to the RadeonHD AtomBIOS code. The Novell developers behind the RadeonHD driver haven't officially tested this method, so be sure to report your successes (or failures) to the RadeonHD IRC channel.
The xf86-video-ati 6.7.196 driver was released about a month ago, but Alex Deucher has reported that he soon will be releasing v6.7.197 of this open-source Radeon driver. This driver will be released in the coming days and does include a few interesting changes. The xf86-video-ati 6.7.197 driver will include improved PLL handling, better lid status support on Linux, fixed EXA transforms, support for more Mac graphics cards, cursor rotation fixes, and bug fixes. This announcement was made on Alex Deucher's blog.
If you've been trying out the latest alpha builds of Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" and are using the ATI binary driver, you may want to check out the latest packaging scripts from Phorogit. For Ubuntu users, there is now 8.04 support so you can run --buildpkg Ubuntu/hardy or --buildpkg Ubuntu/8.04 for building your Debian packages. The Ubuntu packaging scripts also now utilize DKMS support (Dynamic Kernel Module Support), for easily rebuilding the fglrx package upon Linux kernel upgrades. DKMS for fglrx in Ubuntu no longer makes it necessary to use the module-assistant installation routine. These Ubuntu packaging script updates (and others) will be present in this month's ATI Catalyst 7.12 release for Linux.
ASUS, a long-time sponsor of Phoronix, has sent out their latest ATI graphics cards, which consist of the EAH3850 TOP and EAH3870 TOP. These two graphics cards are factory-overclocked compared to the reference Radeon HD 3850 and HD 3870 specifications. Last month when the Radeon HD 3800 series was introduced we shared with you that there wouldn't be immediate support but that it should be here soon.
Jerome Glisse, the mastermind behind the open-source R500 Avivo driver, has published the first bits of code on his latest project: kernel mode-setting support for Radeon graphics cards. This latest work is supported by all Radeon product families except for the R500/600. In addition, also lacking is the CRTC2, TMDS, and LVDS support. On Jerome's TODO list is also separate GPU clock control support, suspend / resume, and AtomBIOS support. The Radeon kernel mode-setting support can be checked out via git from git://people.freedesktop.org/~glisse/drm in the modesetting-radeon branch.
Back on Thursday, November 29 the RadeonHD 1.0 driver was released and not even a week later it can now be found inside the Ubuntu 8.04 "Universe" repository. Previously the Ubuntu repository had RadeonHD 0.0.4. As of this morning, xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd is at version 1.0. While if you're using the development branch of Ubuntu you're all set, for those using Ubuntu 7.10 are stuck to RadeonHD v0.0.1. If you'd like to share your RadeonHD experiences be sure to stop by the Open-Source ATI/AMD Forum.
While if you're a loyal Phoronix reader you should already know most of the information discussed in this interview, Beyond3D recently chatted with AMD's John Bridgman about the RadeonHD driver and their new open-source position. The interview talks about why AMD is suddenly interested in open-source support, why the fglrx driver will not be opened up, how the two drivers will coexist with one another, no UVD programming information will be released, and more. For more information on the current status of the RadeonHD driver be sure to check out our graphics articles, RadeonHD news posts, and the Phoronix Forums, where John Bridgman and other open-source X developers are active members. Logs of the RadeonHD IRC channel are also available from RadeonHD.org.
While Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 1 won't ship with the open-source RadeonHD driver by default, it's easily obtainable through the Ubuntu Universe Repository. In Ubuntu 7.10 there is even the RadeonHD driver in Gutsy, but it's quite out of date. In fact, the RadeonHD version for Gutsy is v0.0.1, which is long before the RandR 1.2 support and other driver changes. However, found in the Ubuntu Hardy repository right now is the 0.0.4~git20071124-1 driver (RadeonHD v0.0.4). Though the displayconfig-gtk found in this first Ubuntu 8.04 development release doesn't support RadeonHD.
If you haven't stumbled across the link already, at Phoronix we have established RadeonHD.org. RadeonHD.org has been established as a site dedicated to IRC archives for the Radeon and RadeonHD IRC channels. We've been logging the channels in real-time since earlier this week and we will continue to do so. By going to the site you're able to browse the archives for previous dates as well as using the search functionality found in each log. Both #radeon and #radeonhd can be connected to through FreeNode, and the Radeon IRC channel was just established a few days ago. In the near future we will be rolling out more browsing features at RadeonHD.org.
Following the RandR 1.2 integration earlier this week, the RadeonHD v0.0.4 driver has been released. In addition to the RandR 1.2 support from master, RadeonHD v0.0.4 also features LVDS support on RS690 GPUs and later. What this means is that this open-source driver should now properly work with notebooks that use the M72, M74, M76, or RS690 ASICs. This release also includes a large number of fixes and simplification of the connector naming scheme. The RadeonHD v0.0.4 announcement can be found on the mailing list and the code can be checked out (as always) from FreeDesktop.org git.
The initial-randr branch for x86-video-radeonhd has been merged into master. What this means is that you no longer need to checkout this separate branch but that all of the RandR 1.2 support is now in the mainline code for this open-source driver. The RadeonHD driver provides full RandR 1.2 support and even some initial work for RandR 1.3. The OpenSuSE mailing list announcement goes into detail about this work and what to do if you run into any RandR problems. A new RadeonHD driver release may be out as soon as early next week.
Since the AtomBIOS branch appeared for the xf86-video-ati driver and the R500 support for DRM (the announcement), we've been trying out this open-source software on a variety of different ATI Radeon graphics cards. As we reported a few hours ago, the xf86-video-ati driver is working with the high-end HD 2900XT 512MB graphics card. We have now tried it out on multiple Radeon X1800 series graphics cards and it was running great there too. Using XAA acceleration was very smooth though with EXA we have ran into a few issues with the DRM R500 branch causing slowdowns. When trying out an ATI Radeon X800XL with the AtomBIOS branch (since the AtomBIOS support goes back to the R400 series) we have ran into TMDS issues. The exploration will continue and we'll report back soon with more findings and possible benchmarks.
While all of the open-source rage for the ATI R500 and R600 series has been about the official RadeonHD driver, it seems that the Radeon (as in xf86-video-ati) driver will support these new ATI GPU families as well. David Airlie has established an atombios-support branch in xf86-video-ati and a r500-support branch in DRM. David Airlie and Alex Deucher have been working on introducing AtomBIOS support to the Radeon driver for the R400/500/600 series and Radeon acceleration support for the R500 (Radeon X1000) family. The Radeon driver now supports XAA and EXA with the R500 graphics cards. 3D is not supported, however, it is being worked on. This AtomBIOS branch does support RandR 1.2 as well as dual-link TMDS outputs, and external TMDS chips on the R400 GPUs. David had mentioned that open-source 3D support on the R500 series through the Radeon driver should be possible in the near future and that Compiz support should come sooner rather than later. Read more on David Airlie's blog.
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