There's A Lot Of Exciting AMDGPU DRM Code Brewing For Eventual Catalyst Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 3 October 2015 at 11:17 AM EDT. 20 Comments
RADEON --
One of the big items still in the works as part of AMD's unified Linux driver strategy is that the Catalyst proprietary driver will be isolated to user-space and make use of the AMDGPU kernel DRM driver. Being publicly now in development in a few code branches are changes to the AMD DRM code for beginning to suit more of it to Catalyst's driver design.

A Phoronix reader pointed out to me on Twitter that there's been this new DRM Git branch as of some days back entitled amd-15.31. That 15.31 likely refers to the fglrx release stream and in there is various reworks for the DAL. The DAL is the Display Abstract Layer and is a sub-component of the AMDGPU DRM driver for display-related functions. There's also this DAL-wip branch that also has a lot of yet-to-be-mainlined patches relating to this display abstraction code that appears to be used by Catalyst.

One of the interesting DAL commits is this one, "This is the interface we use to bridge the drm modesetting APIs with the internal DAL APIs. The idea behind this is to allow us to separate the hw abstractions and programming sequences and the high level APIs. It also allows us to easily change internal APIs without affecting the higher level APIs and allows us to easily support changes to the high level APIs such as adding plane support and transitioning to the atomic modesetting API."


Running The AMD Radeon R9 Fury With AMD's New Open-Source Linux Driver


Some of this code is authored by Harry Wentland, an AMD developer not commonly seen attributed to many open-source AMD Linux patches but has been with the company in Toronto since 2011.

It will be interesting to watch this new AMDGPU kernel DRM code mature and what features are in store for the open-source AMD Linux driver in the near future for Carrizo/Tonga/Fiji graphics cards. One of the immediate features sought after by early users of the AMDGPU driver remains the re-clocking/power management support so the discrete GPUs can perform at their full speeds, with hopes that it will be ready for Linux 4.4.
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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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