Is there any cross-pollination with the OSS drivers?
With all this news about Gallium3D, GEM, etc I'm just wondering if any of this is at all relevant to Catalyst.
With more graphics stuff entering the mainline kernel, it seems only natural that there may be some performance benefit. Also, Gallium3D will make it much easier to support new graphics APIs.
What's the scoop?
Gallium3D will be worse than NVidia's/ATI's proprietary solution. So I bet they won't use it. GEM is also useless to them because their proprietary manager is faster than GEM.
There's one thing you didn't mention that *would* help the binary drivers: UXA/EXA (should eliminate the lag in compositing) and maybe DRI2. I hope ATI has plans to support UXA/EXA soon in Catalyst :P
Actually, according to bridgman, ATI's internal implementation of their driver works quite similarly to Gallium3D (It would be nice to have access to the lower level API, but I guess there are legal issues with that.)
ATI is implementing something they call "TexturedXRender" which I believe is a bit similar to EXA, or at least the render acceleration portion. It's also rumored that the driver coming out in January will implement a DRI2-like technology. That said, the binary drivers are all a blob so they sort of do their own thing, and don't make much use of open apis.
Right, TexturedXRender is still experimental and not very well optimized. Hopefully they'll implement proper EXA at some point. Honestly, though, I don't hold out a lot of hope for closed-source drivers. I'm waiting the open-source driver to be a total replacement (on my x1600 for my purposes (I don't do much gaming on Linux) it already is). Now that the r600/r700 code is out, too, I it shortly will be for most people.
I, on the opposite, don't have much hope for the open source drivers. They're simply too slow and ATI/NV want to keep it that way due to competition. I honestly believe that open source drivers will always be at least an order of magnitude slower then the proprietary ones when it comes to rendering performance. In other words, they will be a total waste of the performance of the hardware they run on. In other-other words, crippled
AMD's open source initiative is better than nothing, but they did never fully embrace the open source development model. If they did, Catalyst would be open sourced or at least shared sourced.
Last edited by RealNC; 12-30-2008 at 12:19 PM.
And we come back to this point...
Originally Posted by RealNC
What if there is stuff in Catalyst AMD don't own the rights to? What if there is stuff in Catalyst AMD are contractually bound to keep secret?
At the end of the day, AMD have been giving the Open Source community exactly what we spent years asking for: Hardware specs. Now it's down to US to deliver on our side of that bargain before we bitch them out even more, which means WE deliver the drivers...