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Terry Makedon (AMD/ATI): "We can't open our drivers"

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  • yoshi314
    replied
    What makes you state this?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_Tec...s#X1000_series

    avivo and different 2d core, at least. the card behaves different even with plain 2d.

    also r500 cards feature internal 2d resolution of 1280x1024. you can easily see it when using framebuffer console on linux. everything lower is jagged on console, and blurry under X.

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    What makes you state this?
    Well the R500 series does have a ringbus memory controller and many other architectural changes.

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
    well, r500 seems quite different from previous series, while r300 seems pretty similar to r400.
    What makes you state this?

    wonder what's in store for us with r600.
    Heh... Your guess is as good as mine on that one. I just take it in as they give us support. I'm just disappointed in what I've seen to date with ATI's offerings. I can only hope that AMD works on things a little differently and places more emphasis on it than they do nowadays.

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  • yoshi314
    replied
    In reality, anything in the R300, R400, and R500 series of chips are going to be intrinsically identical at the programming level, with each chip in question being a scaling up of the R300 architecture or a process improvement.
    well, r500 seems quite different from previous series, while r300 seems pretty similar to r400.

    wonder what's in store for us with r600.

    although i believe there is some truth to that. 9700 and X-series were probably a major step forward, and it was so different from previous ati cards, that they were safe to release the specs for older models.

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
    i wonder what could that 3rd party code in the ati driver be. only drm solutions like hdmi come to my mind.
    I strongly suspect that this is NOT totally the case. To be sure, there IS some of that present for some of the reasoning- but there's likely to be some proprietary performance hacks that they can't protect via Copyright or Patent, possibly some embarrassing things in design lurking in the codebase or in the chip's interface. I've seen it before in the past for other vendors as I've helped them do Linux driver work.


    In all honesty, I'd rather they gave x.org a leg up on what they needed to accomplish a full enough R300 driver to matter for things and left it at that. But, I don't see that happening right at the moment.
    Last edited by Svartalf; 13 March 2007, 12:45 PM.

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by Synergy6 View Post
    I can understand not opening the Xxk series, but I would have thought the previous ones (X800, 9700 etc) could be opened with little competitive disadvantage. A lot of people run Linux with such cards, and would be appreciative of the full compatability when choosing their next card, even if it had lesser support.
    In reality, anything in the R300, R400, and R500 series of chips are going to be intrinsically identical at the programming level, with each chip in question being a scaling up of the R300 architecture or a process improvement. If they revealed the details of the X800 or 9700, you might as well be opening the whole kimono for them.

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  • yoshi314
    replied
    i meant this one when i thought about 'patented optimizations'. it was probably repeated on other sites as well. don't remember on which one i read it originally, though.

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  • Michael
    replied
    Was it this link: http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=06/10/11/1355201

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  • yoshi314
    replied
    if i could only find that link :/ i don't really remember. it could be from linux.com indeed.

    i wonder why ati can't just open the parts of the drivers they have rights to, and leave the 3rd party stuff in a blob.

    you may have heard about xara lx - the company decided to leave its core graphics library as a blob (because it's high performance gives them certain advantage), and opensource the rest of the application under non-windows systems.

    now people started porting xara to cairo to make it independent from the blob library. the original authors of xara lx have nothing against it, as long as it does not get ported to windows (that was the condition when they opened up the code).

    why can't ati do the same? they could leave all the problematic stuff in a smaller blob, and open what they can. it would just be a matter of time when somebody would start developing an open replacement to those blobs.

    i wonder what could that 3rd party code in the ati driver be. only drm solutions like hdmi come to my mind.
    Last edited by yoshi314; 13 March 2007, 08:46 AM.

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
    also ati some time ago gave out a statement about opening the drivers - they said they would not because of something along the lines of "patented optimization algorithms" :] (i believe it was sometime around the time of amd's takeover).

    The quote at Linux.com like back in August from Portland? What I believe that portion comes down to is that they have purchased / licensed code in the drivers from third parties, and part of the terms were that they would not give away that licensed code. It would be like a vBulletin owner giving away the code and allowing other non-subscribers to use it.

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