Nearly Two Decades Later, ATI Radeon R300 Linux Driver Sees Occasional Improvement
The ATI R300 GPUs were first introduced in 2002 and ended up spanning the legendary Radeon 9000 series through the X300/X500/X600 series. (As well, the R300 Gallium3D driver also supports through the ATI Radeon X1000 series.) While AMD's open-source Linux developers no longer focus on this R300g driver in a long time or even the R600g driver for that matter in the rest of the pre-GCN GPUs, the community is able to make the occasional improvement to this legacy hardware support thanks to the nature of open-source.
Merged this Friday night were implementing some missing cases for different textures with TGSI, the intermediate representation used by R300g and other older Gallium3D drivers. This in turn fixes some Piglit OpenGL regression tests now in 2021.
This isn't the first R300 Gallium3D commit of 2021 either but now the 14th of the year. Granted, most of the commits pertaining to this nearly twenty year old GPU driver support are around simple typos and other mostly mundane fixes. Here is a look at the R300 Gallium3D driver activity in recent times. The R600g driver continues seeing occasional improvements too for supporting the Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series as well on open-source under Linux.
In any case, fun to see this vintage open-source ATI/AMD Radeon graphics support continue to improve for those interested in these aging graphics cards. R300g wasn't the official ATI/AMD Linux driver for the hardware but it was through that reverse engineering and hobbyist work that led to several of those open-source developers going on to join AMD and continue to be employed working for the company on their more modern drivers.