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Radeon's ROCm OpenCL Runtime Finally Open-Sourced

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  • #31
    Originally posted by dungeon View Post

    but to be Free/Libre friendly that means any kind of blob software isn't there.
    it does not mean that, at least to me. There are different levels of friendlyness, and firmware can be considered effectively hardware in some cases. I'm not sure about the AMD case, but I feel like the AMD firmware is more hardware-ish than nVidia, thanks to the AMD attitude towards the community. Nvidia releases signed firmwares for their cards for nouveau only when they are forced to have some patch accepted into the next Linux kernel. That way they can prove the patch is useful to at least one piece of free/libre software, e.g. nouveau. That ain't any free/libre philosophy endorsement, it's just working around the rules and providing the least support needed to gain what you want in exchange.

    On the other hand AMD regularly releases free/libre driver code for their hardware, along with proprietary firmware. Yes, the driver can't work without the firmware, but then again, it can't work even if you pull out the graphics card! And the graphics card itself can't work without the firmware, but it can work and provide full features you have payed for, without a proprietary driver.

    I know the difference between firmware-seen-as-software and firmware-seen-as-hardware does not lie there, but graphics cards firmware does not directly talk to the Linux kernel, and having only free software at OS level is already a huge advantage to me.

    I'd like to have a world where all and every bit of software/firmware is free, but we're just not there yet. The best we have for PC graphics today is AMD, friendlyness-wise. And I'm very happy we have that, so I feel like AMD is free/libre friendly. Maybe not 100%, but it is orders of magnitude more friendly than nVidia.

    My next purchase will be a polaris or vega card and I'm going to suggest AMD to everyone, be it for Linux or any other OS use.
    Last edited by lucrus; 05-14-2017, 06:58 AM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Spazturtle View Post
      How would putting the firmware on a chip be any more Free/Libre?
      Unknown, but according to Stallman or other Free/Libre proponents it's like that. Suff in ROMs is ok, stuff loaded at runtime is not. Even if it is the same.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by lucrus View Post
        it does not mean that, at least to me. There are different levels of friendlyness, and firmware can be considered effectively hardware in some cases.
        I disagree, because that way we can claim also how some blob software is effectively more open then opensource in some cases

        To me these firmwares are indeed software and it is shipped as blob software, so that is where all story ended up

        And it beggins at moment when someone conviced you and now you think something is not what obviosly is

        So lets check it, is it software? Yes. Is it shipped as blob only? Yes. ... So what else is needed for clarification?
        Last edited by dungeon; 05-13-2017, 09:38 AM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by dungeon View Post
          I disagree, because that way we can claim also how some blob software is effectively more open then opensource in some cases
          Yes, that's theoretically possible to pretend, but common sense suggests the cases when it's a reasonable statement to make or a off the wall one.

          Originally posted by dungeon View Post
          To me these firmwares are indeed software and it is shipped as blob software, so that is where all story ended up
          Yes, they are software and they are proprietary software. In the AMD case I feel like they don't make the free/libre driver any less free/libre.

          Originally posted by dungeon View Post
          And it beggins at moment when someone conviced you and now you think something is not what obviosly is
          Thanks for considering me that stupid, but, your english grammar aside, have you ever considered your opinion as such, e.g. an opinion like many others? I understand your opinion would be the most perfect way of doing things in a perfect world, but hey, look out of your window for a while, it's not perfect. And in a many-shadows-of-friendlyness not-so-perfect world we live in, AMD is making good things and deserves to be called free/libre friendly. And that's just my opinion, whether you laugh for it or not.

          Originally posted by dungeon View Post
          So lets check it, is it software? Yes. Is it shipped as blob? Yes. ... So what else is needed for clarification?
          I don't know what YOU need for clarification of my point. Maybe if you ask what is not clear to you, I can explain better.

          Let's make a simple math. Let's name the libre friendlyness level of a driver "the F factor", a number between 0 and 1. Then let's multiply F by the average FPS of the same driver as reported by some PTS benchmark, and let's call P the result. Then we go and buy a graphics card supported by the driver with maximum value of P.

          Using your perfect metrics, F is zero for all and any driver out there as of today. You end up waiting for the perfect driver and firmware (F=1) to magically come up, and if everyone were to follow your example, the world would be perfect. However things are a bit different.

          Using my approximate metrics, F is 0 for nvidia and fglrx, and it is 0.8 for nouveau, intel (whatever is called the driver), radeon and amdgpu. The FPS value makes me choose a Polaris card and tell others to do the same. It's that easy.
          Last edited by lucrus; 05-13-2017, 10:21 AM.

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          • #35
            Leave harping on closed firmware blobs for another day. Today is the day for celebrating Open Source videocard drivers. May linux nerds and basement dwellers dance around computers and get drunk tonight.

            I know I will.

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            • #36
              As far as i understand it OCL is C and CUDA is C++. I don't think that is a performance problem, but that AMD doesn't have complete hardware C++. There is no room today on HPC with OCL.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by artivision View Post
                As far as i understand it OCL is C and CUDA is C++. I don't think that is a performance problem, but that AMD doesn't have complete hardware C++. There is no room today on HPC with OCL.
                For C++ you want to be looking at HCC rather than OpenCL, although recent versions of OpenCL have been picking up more C++ features.

                http://gpuopen.com/compute-product/h...pute-compiler/

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by bridgman View Post

                  For C++ you want to be looking at HCC rather than OpenCL, although recent versions of OpenCL have been picking up more C++ features.

                  http://gpuopen.com/compute-product/h...pute-compiler/
                  I mean GPU only. Not as a CPU amplifier.

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                  • #39
                    Not sure I understand. HCC takes C++ and generates GPU code from the parallelized parts, CPU code from the serial parts.

                    IIRC it can also run in a dual-source mode (serial & parallel parts not mixed) where kernel code is converted directly to GPU code.

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                    • #40
                      There is enough (imo) C++ support in recent OpenCL versions to be productive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL#OpenCL_2.2


                      Originally posted by Adarion View Post
                      Nice, really nice. Even though my few RadeonSI chips won't benefit from it but this is very welcome. I hope this will gain more momentum. It takes a while sometimes, but in the end it's being delivered. I wonder what's next.
                      I too have a SI card (the R9 280x) but I'm optimistic that ROCm can be made to work with it, given enough time.


                      Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                      Thank you AMD. I guess I will go from Evergreen to Polaris or Vega pretty soon

                      Though I hope the community is still working on clover, since it is gallium-based
                      Last I checked it was abandoned...

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