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AMD Graphics Open Source Software Windows Linux

AMD Ports Open-Source Linux GPU Driver To Windows 107

Posted by timothy
from the good-place-for-them dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An AMD engineer has inadvertently revealed that their Windows Embedded graphics driver is ported from the open-source Linux driver. AMD China last year began porting the open-source Radeon Linux kernel driver to Windows Embedded Compact 7, rather than using their Windows Catalyst driver. The resulting WEC7 driver for Radeon GPUs is proprietary, but that's allowed per the MIT license that the ATI-AMD Linux driver code is provided under."
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AMD Ports Open-Source Linux GPU Driver To Windows

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  • Re:WOW, LOL, WUT? (Score:4, Informative)

    by snowgirl (978879) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @04:07PM (#37706416) Journal

    so it's official, the FOSS drivers are better than the proprietary drivers? (more likely it's that the proprietary drivers are just worse than the FOSS drivers...)

    I noted above, but I'll note it again. The Windows driver is known to have a lot of special paths for all the various cool games that people want to run as fast as possible. For Windows Embedded, they want a good all-around driver that is simple to port. This would be the Linux driver, as that's exactly what it is written to be.

  • by snowgirl (978879) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @04:10PM (#37706466) Journal

    Your point being? The license is irrelevant. AMD, as the presumed owner of the Radeon source, could make the Radeon GPU driver for Windows Embedded closed source even if it was released GPL.

    Yes, BUT not with any derivative code included. They would need to get a release from all the other contributors that were not working for hire for AMD. Namely, if I write an extra chapter to The Da'Vinci Code, and the original writer could totally change the license that the original Da'Vinci Code was released under, but could not include my extra chapter without my permission. (GPL makes this question simple, since you're already providing the source, you are known to be able to include any derivative works, since they also must be GPL.)

  • Re:WOW, LOL, WUT? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @04:29PM (#37706682)
    Nope, not official at all. As an AMD Linux user, I can safely say that as bad as their proprietary blob is, it's still way better than the FOSS ones for actually playing games.
  • Re:WOW, LOL, WUT? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Thursday October 13, 2011 @05:02PM (#37706968)

    I noted above, but I'll note it again. The Windows driver is known to have a lot of special paths for all the various cool games that people want to run as fast as possible. For Windows Embedded, they want a good all-around driver that is simple to port. This would be the Linux driver, as that's exactly what it is written to be.

    I HATE Microsoft Marketing.

    There is no such thing as Windows Embedded. There is Windows Embedded Compact 7, which is just WinCE 7. There is Windows Embedded Standard 7, which is a componentized version of Windows 7. Then there's Automotive and Enterprise and other crap.

    The Windows Embedded Compact 7 driver is the one under question here, and I can understand why as the graphics stack on CE is quite a bit different from desktop x86 Windows. Plus, it has to be multi-arch - WEC7 runs on ARM, MIPS and x86 platforms, so the open-source driver would be more portable.

    And yes, it's different enough to be problematic. Things like DirectX are different under CE. Even Windows Mobile had a different DirectX stack. The WinCE one originates from CE 2.0, while the Mobile version dervices from XP. Along the way the definitions and capability bits have changed, a bit can be missing on one implementation or the other.

    The last time I did a simple inquiry via DirectDraw and had effectively two different programs because the capability bits were not very common between the two. I'd imagine the 3D stuff would be equally messy.

  • by dryeo (100693) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @09:57PM (#37709826)

    Or they can demand that all copyright is signed over to them so even though GPL they could fork a version with a different license. Some projects already do this, eg x264 which is now selling non-GPLed versions.
    See the bottom of http://www.videolan.org/developers/x264.html [videolan.org]

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