AMD Hiring For Open-Source GPU Driver Work With Mentions Of Tesla Model S, Steam Deck
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 3 August 2021 at 02:00 PM EDT. 89 Comments
RADEON --
With AMD's increasing marketshare on the CPU and GPU front, scoring more data center wins, and also scoring custom design wins for Linux-based environments such as with the Tesla Model S and most recently with the Steam Deck, AMD continues hiring more Linux engineers.

Several times this year I've noted about AMD ramping up their Linux engineering talent and even forming a "new [client] organization" within the company. Especially on the CPU side they've been hiring more Linux kernel engineers this year to focus on areas that hadn't been as much of a focus for them during their down times and not a priority until more recently when scoring big data center deals and other enterprise wins that now allow them to invest more into power management, the kernel scheduler, virtualization, etc.

Thanks to the recent announcement of the Linux-powered Steam Deck leveraging a custom AMD SoC, we already know AMD and Valve are collaborating for Linux power management improvements. There's also a new AMD job posting that specifically mentions the Steam Deck as well as the Tesla Model S, which for its new media control unit is also powered by an AMD SoC and offering gaming-capable performance.

AMD is hiring at least one more Linux software engineer to work on OpenGL and/or multimedia. The job post reads, "Our team works on open-source GPU drivers for Linux. We are leading contributors to the Radeon Mesa graphics and multimedia drivers included in popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and Debian. Our software is used in exciting products such as the Tesla Model S and the Steam Deck."


We already know full well the Steam Deck is leveraging the fully open-source AMD Linux graphics driver stack in Mesa, including RADV. This does appear to be the first public indication I am aware of though that confirms the Tesla Model S is using the open-source driver stack too, including Mesa (RadeonSI Gallium3D) for OpenGL rather than AMD's proprietary OpenGL component that is shared with Windows and still offered via the Radeon Software for Linux "PRO" driver package.

This new AMD hire would focus on AMD's Mesa OpenGL and/or multimedia drivers, which are also part of Mesa with the VA-API and OpenMAX state trackers. Interestingly the job ad is more OpenGL focused although their preferred candidate would also have experience with Vulkan. In any case, it's always great seeing AMD and other organizations ramping up their Linux talent.

There is also a second job post of AMD hiring for a Linux build engineer with a similar mention to the Tesla Model S and Steam Deck. Their Linux Build Engineer position will work on enhancing the build, packaging, and installation of their graphics driver components on Linux. Both of these posts like much of the Radeon graphics work is based out of Markham, Ontario.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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