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Thread: AMD Preparing For Another GPU Documentation Release

  1. #1
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    Default AMD Preparing For Another GPU Documentation Release

    Phoronix: AMD Preparing For Another GPU Documentation Release

    Back on September 6th of this year AMD shocked the open-source community by committing to the development of a new open-source display driver (this driver is now known as RadeonHD) and that they would be providing specifications to the development community. A week later, they set precedence by not only releasing the documentation to the developers but to the everyone! Their first batch of documentation covered the basics for the RV630 and M56 GPUs and was released freely to the public without any Non-Disclosure Agreement! However, they still have much more GPU documentation that has yet to be released. Some simply believe AMD is doing this as a publicity stunt, but today we have new details to share as they prepare for their next GPU documentation release.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11442

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    1) I hope that we see them actually GIVE us the 3D stuff. While I view the AMD Linux GPU team with nothing but the highest respect, they're very, very obviously waay understaffed and very obviously not going to get the new codebase drivers stable and backfill the missing functionalities in a reasonable amount of time at the rate they're able to work on things right at the moment. Especially with that release process they insist upon using over there at the former ATI division.

    2) I think that this might be an okay place to be implementing the Gallium3D stuff, but it's not at all proven and not at all ensured that we won't come up with yet another driver interface other than it. (I do agree that the Mesa/DRI stuff's kind of dodgy; it was a major improvement over what was there with the Utah-GLX stuff (Which WAS a serious hack and a half- you wouldn't believe the awesome, but very, very squirrely things John Carmack did to get a configuration free RagePRO driver for it- and the others needed all kinds of jumping through flaming hoops to get there; we were just starting out on this thing at that point and we didn't have the experience that ATI or NVidia had at that point in time. DRI's another step in that same vein.) Something new is needed, but it's still not sure it's Gallium3D until they finish the first 1-2 cards' support within it.

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    Hopefully the extra staffers they're hiring will help out a bit and if they get the 3D stuff out by Christmas, consider me tickled.

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    Yeah, way to go AMD! I really appreciate the new engagement AMD/ATI puts into the Open-Source development. My next graphics card will surely be an AMD, and the first 3850 Benchmarks also look great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clicks View Post
    Yeah, way to go AMD! I really appreciate the new engagement AMD/ATI puts into the Open-Source development. My next graphics card will surely be an AMD, and the first 3850 Benchmarks also look great.
    Same here. As soon as 3D specs are released, and as soon as UT3 is out for Linux, I'll rush on ATI hardware. A 3870 would be nice actually.

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    I'm 100% with you, Svartalf. AMD's Linux driver division is heavily underpowered, and yet they've come this far (since circa 2003/4, I believe).

    Ideally AMD will have all that's required for their hardware to be 100% supported in Linux out in the open and allow the community to write the drivers, then they can focus on having software to showcase their hardware (that would be about the only one thing I miss about Windows, the tech-demos, hehe), or reviewing said drivers for optimum performance and features. Alas, we do not live in an ideal world and there are many other factors affecting a company such as AMD to fully release their specs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetargos View Post
    I'm 100% with you, Svartalf. AMD's Linux driver division is heavily underpowered, and yet they've come this far (since circa 2003/4, I believe).

    Ideally AMD will have all that's required for their hardware to be 100% supported in Linux out in the open and allow the community to write the drivers, then they can focus on having software to showcase their hardware (that would be about the only one thing I miss about Windows, the tech-demos, hehe), or reviewing said drivers for optimum performance and features. Alas, we do not live in an ideal world and there are many other factors affecting a company such as AMD to fully release their specs.


    You would be surprised... even the open source driver might progress far enough to where the people writing it will make optimizations for specific games, and i see that as a distinct possibility.

    anyways... i say Way to Go AMD, get more documentation released, and also Release documentation on the Capture cards ( pci and the VIVO stuff) and older video cards while your at it.

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    that's great... for people who have cards that can already enjoy updated fglrx releases. what about those who are stuck with nonexistent fglrx (r100/rv200) or outdated fglrx releases (r200/rv250)?

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    There are already some pretty solid open source drivers available for the R1xx/R2xx cards (the xf86-video-ati driver plus the corresponding mesa/drm bits), and we did release specs and sample driver code for those some years back. A lot of the distros pick them up and include them out of the box, or you can pull them from freedesktop.org.

    We stopped handing out those R1xx/2xx specs a while back, and the NDA stopped people who *did* have copies from giving them to other developers, but I am trying to get them re-released -- hopefully without NDA this time. As we release more info for the newer chips, that should also help to back-fill some of the gaps in the earlier info packages.
    Last edited by bridgman; 11-16-2007 at 05:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker010 View Post
    that's great... for people who have cards that can already enjoy updated fglrx releases. what about those who are stuck with nonexistent fglrx (r100/rv200) or outdated fglrx releases (r200/rv250)?
    Well, considering that the bulk of the critical OpenGL support is present in those already (Looks at his R200 class 3D accelerator in his P4M 1.7 GHz laptop that PASTES his more modern Athlon64 3200+ driven Xpress200m accelerator with most games that don't rely on OpenGL 2.X GLSL code...) it's not too bad. You're missing a few things like TV out, right? That is all we need from them at this point, really. Pretty much everything else seems to run rather well in comparison.

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