AMD News Archives
Oliver McFadden, the developer behind the Revenge reverse-engineering utility for ATI Radeon GPUs, is hoping to create a free software (GPL licensed) Video BIOS for at least one ATI Radeon graphics card. This is certainly a much larger project than just reverse engineering a driver and is much more risky, but at the same time is very interesting and holds merit. Mark Shuttleworth would also like to see everything down to the device's firmware being free software. The steps Oliver is taking at this point is to examine the AtomBIOS parser, which is open-source as part of the RadeonHD driver (a partial explanation of AtomBIOS). If this open-source BIOS for ATI Radeon GPUs manages to take shape, we'll be sure to cover it here at Phoronix. More information is available on Oliver's blog.
22 October 2007 - An Open-Source ATI Video BIOS... - 9 Comments
Luc Verhaegen of Novell has pushed additional PLL fixes into the xf86-video-radeonhd git tree. These PLL fixes should address all outstanding issues involving the setup and generation code, including the monitor not syncing and horizontal steadiness. Specifically, Mobility Radeon X1000 "R500" and all Radeon HD 2000 "R600" owners are encouraged to try the latest code and reporting the results to the RadeonHD mailing list.
22 October 2007 - Check Out The Latest Git Code
Last week the RadeonHD development was rather slow with only 30 commits to their xf86-video-radeonhd git tree all week. However, the Novell developers have been making some good progress this week. Earlier this week there were a few fixes to the RadeonHD driver and AtomBIOS. Today so far there have been fifteen commits. These changes represent a number of fixes, adding additional queries, semantic changes, and one of the most notable commits is adding support for libpciaccess. The open-source R500 Avivo driver has supported libpciaccess for a while, but now it's finally coming to the RadeonHD driver. PCI rework/libpciaccess is the new generic PCI access library and is meant to be platform independent. As libpciaccess is relatively new, the RadeonHD driver hooks into libpciaccess but at the same time maintains backwards compatibility with older versions of X.Org. If XSERVER_LIBPCIACCESS is defined, the RadeonHD driver will take advance of this PCI library. The driver version has also been bumped to v0.0.2.
17 October 2007 - Now Supports libpciaccess - 5 Comments
This week has seen some more improvements to the RadeonHD driver. The week started out with the RadeonHD driver better implementing the AtomBIOS. AtomBIOS is now used for obtaining clock limit data in order to calculate pixel clocks and LVDS parameters for panels. A few memory leak fixes were also fixed. This past week has seen about 30 commits to the RadeonHD driver. This number is in starch contrast to previous weeks where we seen as many as 90 commits. In fact, there hasn't been any commits to xf86-video-radeonhd in three days. The Novell developers though have remained active on the RadeonHD mailing list. Perhaps they are just preparing for the next array of changes? Trying out the Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB graphics card with the latest RadeonHD git on October 13, everything was still running fine.
13 October 2007 - Three Days, Zero Commits
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.
11 October 2007 - Driver For r128 Merged, Laptop Lids
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.
9 October 2007 - Memory Leak Fixes, Renaming, Etc...
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.
7 October 2007 - PLL Clock & LVDS Panel Changes
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.
5 October 2007 - xf86-video-ati 6.8 Is On The Way - 3 Comments
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.
5 October 2007 - Is Your Cursor Broken?
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 :).
5 October 2007 - Open-Source R700 & GeForce 9?
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).
4 October 2007 - It's Dead, But There's New Commits
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.
3 October 2007 - Fixes, AtomBIOS, & Parsing
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.
24 September 2007 - Open-Source On The Mini - 2 Comments
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.
19 September 2007
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.
14 September 2007 - 1 Comment
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).
12 September 2007
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.
12 September 2007 - 45 Comments
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.
10 September 2007
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.
10 September 2007 - 21 Comments
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.
6 September 2007 - 4 Comments
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