Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Graphics Software Linux

AMD Releases Open-Source R600/700 3D Code 307

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the playing-nice-with-others dept.
Michael writes "AMD has just released code that will allow for open-source 3D acceleration on their ATI R600 and R700 graphics cards, including all of their newest Radeon HD 4xxx products. This code consists of a demo program that feeds the commands to the hardware, updates to their RadeonHD driver, and a Direct Rendering Manager update. With this code comes working 2D EXA acceleration support for these newer ATI graphics processors as well as basic X-Video support. AMD will be releasing sanitized documentation for these new ATI GPUs in the coming weeks. Phoronix has an article detailing what's all encompassed by today's code drop as well as the activities that led to this open-source code coming about for release."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

AMD Releases Open-Source R600/700 3D Code

Comments Filter:
  • by dfn_deux (535506) <datsun510.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:40AM (#26265277) Homepage
    This seems to confirm what people have been predicting all along, that OSS philosophy is driving competition between vendors to cater to their customers' needs. Nvidia, Intel, and now ATI all providing increasing levels of documentation and code support in competitive volleys. I for one welcome our new 3d accelerated overlords.
    • by domatic (1128127) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:46AM (#26265303)

      Er, what exactly is Nvidia doing in this regard? They've put out more or less OK closed drivers for Linux for a number of years now but they go out of their way to frustrate FOSS efforts. The "open source" nv driver is obfuscated. About all you can say about it is that it compiles to a basic 2D driver.

      Intel releases fully realized drivers and some docs. ATI/AMD is releasing ever more complete docs and more or less cruddy closed drivers. With the help of Mr. Weite, VIA is starting to release docs and is co-operating with current FOSS driver authors. I don't see Nvidia doing anything of this sort.

      • by dfn_deux (535506)
        I thought I recalled reading something recently about Nvidia releasing more documentation on their video decode acceleration, but looking back through my browser history I think i may have created a composite memory based on an intel article and Nvidia opening an API for video decoding using their closed source driver. Either way I can't imagine that Nvidia is gonna be able to leave us out in the cold much longer on this front. Keep voting with your wallet and we'll see them change their tune soon enough.
        • Slight problem here -- what should I use my wallet to vote for?

          I just recently bought a Dell laptop. It came with an nvidia card -- no option for ATI. What's more, this is all new stuff -- as far as I can tell, the closed nvidia drivers are still better than any ATI Linux drivers, but that may have changed.

          Since I can't afford another computer so soon, I'm kind of stuck. The video card is embedded, after all, so the best I could do is get ExpressCard video, and I doubt that will perform as well, even with a

          • by zappepcs (820751) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:45AM (#26265563) Journal

            The parent has pegged a round hole with a square question. Hardware support in Linux works well if you build your own machines, or happen to get one with supported hardware. How do you find a system that is fully supported and for which distributions?

            This is still a problem for F/OSS software. Some distributions are better at handling the problem than others. For many end users, finding a proprietary driver and installing it on Linux is a deal-breaker.

            I'm glad to see that ATI is moving toward support for all OS software, but it still leaves the general community with a problem. That problem won't go away until hardware manufacturers support F/OSS out of the box. It means changing their model and prospective future business plans to some extent.

            I'm willing to bet that if everyone who *REALLY* wants to see great F/OSS drivers for ATI were to plop down $5 USD it would make a difference to how they are thinking about releasing drivers. Yes, $50,000 might not be much but it also might make a difference to ATI. This falls into a category of donations that I've talked about before.

            Finding who to donate to is not always easy since many apps are hidden from the user, such as Samba, drivers, etc. It would be good if there were some place people could just drop a donation for the distribution they are using and feel safe that some percentage of that went to all those apps that are part of the distribution. This always brings up some heart felt discussion, but I think something like this is an awesome thing that would help drive better development for F/OSS software. See, getting $1.75 per user is a lot of money to some F/OSS teams. Hell, even fifty cents would be a lot more than they are getting now. So a donation of 50 or 75 bucks could mean a lot to many people. I try to donate to the apps that I use the most and I KNOW how difficult it is to do that.

            If anyone is interested in progressing such a thing, contact me. I can probably find some time to donate to this as a project.

            • Hardware support in Linux works well if you build your own machines, or happen to get one with supported hardware. How do you find a system that is fully supported and for which distributions?

              A sensible assumption, I would think, is to buy it preloaded with Linux. And this has worked fairly well. I've had weird issues with the nvidia drivers and KDE4, but that's to be expected -- KDE4 is still beta. (Oh, they'll tell you it's a stable 4.1, but that's like Vista claiming to be released...)

              Other than that, though, it's been perfect, as far as compatibility goes. I'm starting to think my next system won't be Dell, though. Optical drive died, and it took them three trips (first trip was the wrong dr

              • by zappepcs (820751)

                By way of background. I've got 8 Linux systems using 2 distributions mainly. I also play with others, so when I donate, I think what is eight times what I want to donate etc. This project should be something that I can register eight systems with. That is to say that whatever donation option I choose, I should be able to annotate that it is for xyz number of systems, and the site/service would add that up for me so that I don't have to go through the process 8 times. Even two times would be tough going for

                • 1- 'divide it among all apps on distribution disk' or that are in use

                  Which means the apps on that distro disk will be chosen by who needs the money, or who's paid the bribe, not which app I actually need. What's more, even if done properly, it will have a bias towards hardware autodetection, disk compression, hacks like unionfs, installation, and recovery tools -- things like ntfsresize and friends.

                  2- 'base packages plus others I select' or

                  So, again, there's the problem of packages now being chosen for more reasons than just "it belongs in the base distro".

                  3- 'let me pick which packages'

                  This would work, except most users aren't going to know whic

            • by turing_m (1030530)

              I'm willing to bet that if everyone who *REALLY* wants to see great F/OSS drivers for ATI were to plop down $5 USD it would make a difference to how they are thinking about releasing drivers. Yes, $50,000 might not be much but it also might make a difference to ATI. This falls into a category of donations that I've talked about before.

              Since AMD/ATI made the commitment to open source the video drivers and docs I bought an AMD CPU and ATI GPU knowing full well the GPU wouldn't work very well yet in Linux. At

              • by Belial6 (794905)
                Same here. I have bought 1 motherboard with built in ATI graphics, One ATI video card, and I going to get another motherboard with built in ATI graphics next week. Prior AMD moving to support OSS, I had zero ATI graphics, and they were not something I would have even considered.
            • by dfn_deux (535506) <datsun510.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @04:54AM (#26266207) Homepage

              The parent has pegged a round hole with a square question. Hardware support in Linux works well if you build your own machines, or happen to get one with supported hardware. How do you find a system that is fully supported and for which distributions?

              Anything with an Intel Centrino logo /should/ have a full array of linux supported hardware. The intel centrino chip "package" includes wifi, video, cpu, acpi, sata, and sound all with known working mainline kernel supported hardware. Not that I work for or endorse their products necessarily, they just happen to be the only vendor who has bothered with providing the code, documentation and (in the case of their wifi chipset) firmware for all the same hardware that they include in their logo certification program. Probably not the top of the line hardware, especially the video, but it's hard to argue with a product that fits so neatly into the HCL for any recent linux distro.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by dfn_deux (535506)
                Heh, just occurred to me that withing the next few months Toshiba's Open Solaris branded/installed laptops powered by centrino chips will, likely, have full drivers for Windows, Solaris, and Linux making a purchase of their gear a pretty solid vote for consumer choice.
            • Hardware support in Linux works well if you build your own machines, or happen to get one with supported hardware. How do you find a system that is fully supported and for which distributions?

              That was true --- in the past. If anything, I find that the opposite to be true these days: installing linux on a machine tends to make it just work. Installing windows, on the other hand, is a nightmare... occasionally, I find that my network card is unsupported without drivers, which is a real hassle by the time yo

            • by dpilot (134227)

              > I'm willing to bet that if everyone who *REALLY* wants to see great F/OSS
              > drivers for ATI were to plop down $5 USD

              I was perhaps thinking of making this an "Ask Slashdot" question, breaking my years-long moratorium on ever bothering to try to submit something to them, again. I'm sure micropayment questions are a dup, but an occasional dump on their current state would be nice to have.

              How do I dump $5 on someone?

              I don't give out my credit card number freely. I don't like PayPal - they really, reall

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Er, what exactly is Nvidia doing in this regard? They've put out more or less OK closed drivers for Linux for a number of years now but they go out of their way to frustrate FOSS efforts.

        You half-answered your own question. They've been putting out fairly stable and fast drivers long before *any* other company was doing that (with the possible exception of matrox, but they're a non-factor at this point). Nvidia has built a certain amount of good will from a lot of Linux users simply because they actually care to release good quality drivers. The open source nuts obviously don't care but everyone else does.

        Second, and this is coming from someone who's had a decent amount of 3d development ex

        • All three companies don't do the best job, but the amount of hacks you have to make in software to get stuff working with both ati and intel cards far surpasses anything you have to write for nvidia cards.

          [citation needed] Sample OGL code would be an adequate citation.

        • Also Nvidia's ahead in stream computing. As well as being easier to work with.

  • Dammit (Score:5, Funny)

    by wicka (985217) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:47AM (#26265305)
    AMD doing nice shit just makes it all the more heartbreaking when Intel releases better chips. I hope they get their shit together soon, I feel dirty with a Core 2 Duo.
  • Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shiftless (410350) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:59AM (#26265363) Homepage

    Every single 3D accelerator I have ever owned has been an NVidia, up until now. Not because I am an NVidia fan-boy, but because that's what I started with (TNT!) and (since I switched over to Linux) because NVidia has always been the best choice for Linux support. I have never considered ATI since their Linux drivers have been craptastic. But in between what I've heard of ATI drivers having improved lately, and now with these drivers being open source, I will definitely be giving ATI a look when I build my next PC in a few months. Thanks ATI!

    • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by grimwell (141031) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:09AM (#26265413)

      ATI's linux drivers are still craptastic... not likely to change in the next few months. You're still better off with Nvidia for linux.

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by steveha (103154) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @02:02AM (#26265635) Homepage

        You're still better off with Nvidia for linux.

        Well, for Linux gaming, you are, for now anyway. But over the long term, we should get free, open-source drivers, which means drivers that actually work. In the long run, you may be better off with ATI cards.

        And, I will be voting with my dollars: I'll now try to buy ATI cards where it makes sense, partly because for the long term I think they will be a win, but also to thank ATI for doing something I wanted them to do.

        steveha

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ThePhilips (752041)

          I'll now try to buy ATI cards where it makes sense

          With ATI 48x0 cards, it makes sense anyway: or you want to tank AMD for the OSS work or you want best price/performance ratio GPU available today. It is very hard to be wrong with the cards, unless you are a very demanding pedant with too much money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lakeland (218447)

        I don't think the parent should be called a troll; It's a valid opinion. Up until now, nvidia is what you picked if you wanted:
        better compatibility with recent kernels
        easier installation
        better performance

        I used to have an ATI card (hehe, nearly wrote AMD - the merger really has started to change how I think). It was built because I needed 3D in a 100% open source system and NVidia's closed-source drivers were so good that not enough developers could be bothered developing open-sou

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          whatever happened to noveau anyway?
           
          It's still being worked on, apparently. http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/ [freedesktop.org] The last update was on November 16, so it's not being worked on really fast....

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by turing_m (1030530)

          I don't think the parent should be called a troll; It's a valid opinion. Up until now, nvidia is what you picked if you wanted: better compatibility with recent kernels easier installation better performance

          For sure. Of those who have bought the 780G (HD3200) for ideological reasons, a portion just get a cheap nvidia card to tide them over until the FOSS drivers get up to speed.

          So far I can't be bothered. And unless I develop an interest in running the latest games, my new system could last 10+ yea

      • Re:Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Junta (36770) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @10:45AM (#26267761)

        When was the last time you tried them? I have an R500 part and before that an R100 part, as well as two nVidia systems. A while ago, the difference was night and day, nVidia's drivers were much more reliable and featureful.

        Over the course of 2008, that's changed for me. AMD has caught up. Meanwhile, I've started using compiz, and the nVidia systems with current drivers still corrupt the window decorations and contents when I have too many windows open. My ATI doesn't suffer from that.

        nVidida does have something on flexible video decode offload and AMD is only promising something, but as it stands its horribly fragmented. nVidia has their implementation, AMD promises another incompatible one, Intel has yet another incompatible one, and all the while Xorg guys muse about a fourth strategy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:59AM (#26265369)

    I chose ATI over Nvidia in my most recent graphics card purchase because of ATI's policy.

    Thanks ATI; it's the right thing, and it will help your revenue.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I have done my best to stick with Intel video chipsets, because they "just work" with Linux. However, a year or so back I purchased a widescreen monitor for my main computer (this one) and discovered a very slight crawl in the display. I suspect it's some kind of electrical interference. To solve the problem I purchased an ATI X1660 card with DVI output and installed that and the crawl went away. However, the stock ATI driver that comes with Fedora 8 and 9 wouldn't, for whatever reason, work with my mon

    • by Lisandro (799651)

      Be warned though, the binary ATI drivers are still quite buggy with newer hardware. I have a system with an onboard Radeon 3200 and, while the system is stable and performs quite fast, i keep getting graphical glitches (OpenGL and xvideo mainly) with regularity.

      I'd like to fault it on my hardware, but in my experience this is typical of ATI drivers, and in this regard nVidia beats them hands down. The OSS drivers are much better but still lacking, atleast for newerd GPUs.

  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:00AM (#26265375)

    I am looking forward to see what this means for Linux, OpenCL and other GP-GPU goodies. With OpenCL working along side OpenGL, a tightly integrated kernel ATI driver that handles the GP-GPU/OpenCL stuff we will really see some interesting stuff come our way. To my understanding OpenCL allows someone who is writing an algorithm to implement it in OpenCL and let OpenCL take care of diving up the work load between GPU's and CPU cores. Damn I am really excited to see the OSS community tie all this stuff together and release the computing power of the GPU to more general yet compute intense applications.

    A system with a quad core CPU and four ATI cards would be a force to be reckoned with! Fast trans-coding/cracking of Blu-ray, rapid key sniffing for air crack, even networked applications could be sped up like IPsec and SSH. We could have fast rendering in blender and ray tracing can be done with high precision as well as speed (maybe even real time!). Gimp plug-ins can be given a boost in speed and video editing a breeze. Even a laptop with a slower dual core could benefit from its on board GPU's number crunching power. Useful for cracking WEP/WPA keys.

    And AMD/ATI arent the only ones getting on board the OpenCL bandwagon, Apple developed it, and Intel along with Nvidia are also going to support it. So OpenCL will allow us to run our apps on the hardware of our choice.

                     

    • by nschubach (922175)

      I'm personally cheering on raytracing for the near future, but I have to agree. If it's not used for gaming, you may be able to download a movie and have it rendered for you in real time. Being able to pan the camera around and view it literally from another angle or have more complex movies with multiple things going on. Being able to focus on a couple's drama or watch a car chase on the other side of town (all within the same "movie".)

    • by tyrione (134248)

      I am looking forward to see what this means for Linux, OpenCL and other GP-GPU goodies. With OpenCL working along side OpenGL, a tightly integrated kernel ATI driver that handles the GP-GPU/OpenCL stuff we will really see some interesting stuff come our way. To my understanding OpenCL allows someone who is writing an algorithm to implement it in OpenCL and let OpenCL take care of diving up the work load between GPU's and CPU cores. Damn I am really excited to see the OSS community tie all this stuff together and release the computing power of the GPU to more general yet compute intense applications.

      A system with a quad core CPU and four ATI cards would be a force to be reckoned with! Fast trans-coding/cracking of Blu-ray, rapid key sniffing for air crack, even networked applications could be sped up like IPsec and SSH. We could have fast rendering in blender and ray tracing can be done with high precision as well as speed (maybe even real time!). Gimp plug-ins can be given a boost in speed and video editing a breeze. Even a laptop with a slower dual core could benefit from its on board GPU's number crunching power. Useful for cracking WEP/WPA keys.

      And AMD/ATI arent the only ones getting on board the OpenCL bandwagon, Apple developed it, and Intel along with Nvidia are also going to support it. So OpenCL will allow us to run our apps on the hardware of our choice.

      Amazingly, with all this cheer and mention of OpenCL you don't even bother to thank Apple for making it happen. I use Linux and OS X for daily consumption, and this is the time when one should be glad Apple innovates for all.

  • Now we need some to make mac os x drivers for the 3xxx and 4xxx cards that work with all 3xxx and 4xxx cards and ones with bios roms.

  • This is fantastic news, I applaude the ATI management for realizing this is a good thing to do. I stopped buying ATI in about 2000 because of the issues in getting driver support for Linux. Now that ATI is stepping up to the plate, I am adding ATI products that use this driver to my buy list!

  • FAQ (Score:5, Informative)

    by MostAwesomeDude (980382) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:50AM (#26265585) Homepage

    Based on what's been on IRC in the past few hours.

    Q: Wait, what?

    A: Code for radeonhd and the kernel providing acceleration for Radeon HD 2400 and newer. Kernel parts are already pretty much integrated; radeonhd is integrated as well, although stuff still needs to be copied to radeon.

    Q: So what does this mean for the user?

    A: EXA means faster GUI responsiveness. Xv means fast video. Kernel DRM is the basis for all acceleration unification (OpenGL, etc.)

    Q: Speaking of OpenGL...

    A: Lawl, no. Not for another few months. Most of the code we're gonna write will target Gallium, so--

    Q: Gallium?

    A: Gallium is the next generation of GPU acceleration. Once we get drivers ready, it'll be awesome. Linky to TG: http://www.tungstengraphics.com/wiki/index.php/Gallium3D [tungstengraphics.com]

    Q: So this is just docs and some basic code?

    A: Nope, no docs. AMD couldn't agree on docs before their vacation time, so I guess we'll see those in a month or so. On the other hand, we've got enough here to do a lot of stuff. It'd be nice if we had more devs, though. :3

    Q: So why is there only code for radeonhd? Will radeon support this too? Why two separate drivers?

    A: The reason for two separate drivers is a very long and largely silly story. I don't feel like repeating it, and I probably couldn't tell it fairly anyway.

    I'll get radeonhd code ported over to radeon once my vacation's over, assuming nobody does it sooner. I can't do the HDMI audio setup without testing hardware, though; does anybody want to donate an HDMI audio-enabled monitor? :3

    ~ C.

    • A: Lawl, no.

      Seriously, Lawl?

  • by Eil (82413) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @02:13AM (#26265675) Homepage Journal

    It's been about 8 years since I last immersed myself in the world of video cards and of course everything has changed since then. (Except that nVidia and AMD (was: ATI) are still on top.) Since then, whenever I've needed a video card, I've just gone to newegg and bought whichever nVidia card was priced around $50.

    But pretend for a moment that I want to congratulate AMD on their open source stance and buy one of their cards. I don't need eye-blistering speed, but I want something that's going to be able to acceptably play a game released a year to six months ago. And obviously it has to work well on Linux. Would be nice if it was under $100 and dual-head, but I'll take any suggestions I can get. Is there such a card? If so, which drivers does it use?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Radeon HD 4670 is ~$80 and will play most games, period.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RMingin (985478)

      Dual-head is generic and a freebie on all current cards.

      Under 100$ would have you looking at the Radeon HD 4670. Lots of them on Newegg for between 60-80USD. Very respectable performance, especially for the price and given the featureset.

      For just a hair over 100$ you can snag a Radeon HD4830. It's just like the top end cards, just some shader units disabled and the clock speeds dropped a bit.

      If you really want to show your support, however, I'd suggest pinching one or two additional pennies and grabbing one

  • Always loved amd (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dyinobal (1427207)
    I've always liked AMD ever since I started building computers. I'm not really a fan boy I guess I'm just their target consumer. I prefer a low cost processor that I can squeeze every dollar worth out of than an expensive one that is really fast but will be worth one hundred or two hundred less in a year when Intel pushes out their next bleeding fast processors. I've always bought Nvidia though I just have better experience getting them to work in Linux and they seem to run games better in windows at the ti
  • -the consumer forced it; reality: if i manufacture a netbook containing Ubuntu and everything on it is open source my software distribution and update infractructure/legal costs are: 0. In a time when hardware gets cheaper and cheaper, and support get more expensive in comparison it is a good thing to collaborate on that.

    -The hard core gamers define the market. No. It's about netbooks, mobile phones and other devices. Given the exponential rise in computational power/dollar in a few years real time raytraci

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      "Widowns lost."

      That has been the story of the personal computer since the beginning. MS never "Won". They were just the company that shot themselves in the foot the fewest times...Until now anyway. They still haven't bled out yet, but they are also not in top shape.
  • "AMD will be releasing sanitized documentation for these new ATI GPUs in the coming weeks."

    And as we know sanitized documentation generally tends to lead to under-developed code, thus rendering this somewhat useless for some things.

Nothing succeeds like success. -- Alexandre Dumas

Working...