HDMI Forum Closing Public Specification Access Is Hurting Open-Source GPU Drivers

Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 6 January 2021 at 07:57 AM EST. 101 Comments
It's been recently elaborated why the likes of FreeSync support over HDMI aren't coming to the open-source drivers, at least not yet... It stems from the decision by the HDMI Forum to prevent public access to the HDMI specification, which in turn is hurting open-source graphics drivers.

With the HDMI specification no longer being public but only to "HDMI Adopters" is complicating the open-source GPU driver support. Even for those that are part of the HDMI Forum like AMD in turn cannot provide an open-source implementation of features covered by the closed spec for in turn potentially and indirectly opening up aspects of it to the public.

This situation seems to be the main blocker for why FreeSync with the open-source AMDGPU Linux kernel driver only works with DisplayPort and not HDMI connections, which persistently has been one of the leading questions with regards to FreeSync Linux support and its current shortcomings.

The current HDMI specification restrictions jeopardize a lot of advanced HDMI functionality for the likes of HDMI 2.1 from being implemented within the open-source graphics drivers.

The X.Org Foundation is petitioning the HDMI Forum to at least allow some HDMI 2.1 specification information to be disclosed publicly so that open-source graphics drivers in turn can (legally) implement the functionality.

Let's hope this works out in 2021... In the mean time, keep this in mind when deciding DisplayPort vs. HDMI preferences!
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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