The Progress Of The RadeonHD Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 28 September 2007. Page 2 of 2. Add A Comment

At the time of writing, in about the past week and a half there has been about 90 commits to the RadeonHD driver, and can largely be attributed to Novell's involvement with this AMD driver. There are usually two people at least working full time on the RadeonHD driver over the past three months at Novell. As we had mentioned in a previous article (AMD's Open-Source Strategy Explained), most of the work is being done by Novell/SuSE due to a close partnership with ATI/AMD.

The key Novell developers include Matthias Hopf, Luc Verhaegen, and Egbert Eich. Stefan Dirsch, who maintains the fglrx driver packaging scripts for SuSE, also has contributed to the xf86-video-radeonhd driver. AMD's involvement with the xf86-video-radeonhd driver is basically in providing the resources to Novell for this partnership and then the actual GPU documentation that has been released to the community thus far. As was shared by open-source developers talking about AMD, there are limited people involved with looking over the GPU specifications to sanitize them and get them cleared by their legal department for public release.

The Novell developers hope to complete 2D work on the RadeonHD driver by the end of this year. Beyond their goal of 2D completion by year's end, the rest of their roadmap is up in the air depending upon public participation and AMD's roadmap for releasing further specifications. AMD has promised to release documentation pertaining to the 3D functionality. Novell's Egbert Eich had also reaffirmed that AMD is interested in publicly releasing documentation on their older ATI GPU generations, but alas they have limited people involved in getting the documentation permitted for publication.

Aside from adding new PCI IDs and Conntest, other work done in the past two weeks on the RadeonHD driver involve fixing I2C probing, AtomBIOS support, ShadowFB by default, and other fixes. We are constantly monitoring the RadeonHD driver progress and testing it in new hardware configurations, and we will pass along any new information once available. Be sure to share your RadeonHD experiences in the Phoronix Forums.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via