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AMD Graphics Open Source Linux

AMD Overhauls Open-Source Linux Driver 126

An anonymous reader writes "AMD's open-source developer has posted an incredible set of 165 patches against the Linux kernel that provide support for a few major features to their Linux graphics driver. Namely, the open-source Radeon Linux driver now supports dynamic power management on hardware going back to the Radeon HD 2000 (R600) generation. The inability to re-clock the GPU frequencies and voltages dynamically based upon load has been a major limiting factor for open-source AMD users where laptops have been warm and there is diminished battery power. The patches also provide basic support for the AMD Radeon HD 8000 'Sea Islands' graphics processors on their open-source Linux driver."
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AMD Overhauls Open-Source Linux Driver

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  • Thank God. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by intermodal ( 534361 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @02:27PM (#44115553) Homepage Journal

    My laptop ran ridiculously hot on the open-source until I got the closed-source drivers to install properly. Let's hope the fix means default installs of Ubuntu won't melt your igloo.

  • Re:Good guys AMD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jkflying ( 2190798 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @02:51PM (#44115759)

    Personally, I'm excited about HUMA and what it will mean for scientific computing. The second half of this year will be exciting!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:38PM (#44116195)

    NVidia tried that and made the mistake of saying who the IP that was the roadblock was: Sun. Sun Microsystems said "There is nothing that they have of ours that we would refuse to have open sourced". NVidia's response was to clam up and let the fanbois repeat the claim for ever more.

  • Re:Yay AMD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:45PM (#44116273)

    How could you be nervous about AMD? They're in every single next generation console system.

    And what do you think profit margins are for console components?

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @03:49PM (#44116311)

    Maybe there's a boat load of trade secrets in the closed source drivers, but I'd imagine that this is a perfect area for patents to be used against competitors.

    You have that backwards. If their drivers are inadvertantly violating a patent owned by Joe's Patent Trolls, Inc, then making the drivers open source makes that violation much easier to spot.

    Patents are a huge disincentive to releasing open source drivers. Another issue the company I worked for had was hardware bugs, because having to put bizarre workarounds in closed source drivers was no big deal, but a bit embarrassing in open source.

  • Re:Good guys AMD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @04:22PM (#44116629)
    I have to agree. My son's laptop with an A10 processor beats both mine and my wife's laptops with i5. They all cost about the same amount. My laptop is fine for most tasks, but fails at gaming. My son's A10 handles every game he has tried without problem. There may be some that won't run well on it, but until we find one that doesn't, anything more would be wasted money.
  • by tyrione ( 134248 ) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @06:51PM (#44117935) Homepage

    $2B in debt, $1B cash, lost $600M last year, sales dropped 30% last year. They have no assets (spun off their manufacturing facilities). If the next gen consoles do not sell well because of casual / tablet gaming and potential Apple TV games, AMD will be bankrupt in one year and shuttering in two. Spending money on open source drivers is a long term investment - it's not going to get them an additional $600M in revenue next year (>2M additional graphics cards or >5M systemic wins) when PC sales are on the decline.

    Right and within 1 year the number of GPGPUs sold via their custom APUs inside Consoles with be 6:1 to 10:1 of your sales. They are in the new Wii, PS4 and XBox. They're expanding their small-to-mid-tier server footprint [beginning to own that space] and with more and more laptops using AMD APUs will begin to own that space. Their partnership with ARM will make them an attractive provider for future Smart TVs, and other embedded products not even yet projected out. AMD is going to be in the black very shortly. [] ``Later in the report, Rolland added, `Whereas four months ago many investors were questioning AMD as an ongoing entity, today, we believe financial stability has been secured by next-gen gaming APU wins, with potential upside driven by new initiatives like SeaMicro. While AMD's recent woes remain fresh in mind, the business looks as though it has stabilized for now, and cash levels should remain sufficient for the near future.'

    Obviously, investors are attracted by the possibility of a 35.8% return within a 12 month timeframe. If Rolland is correct, that's sort of like having your own ATM. Let's examine Advanced Micro Devices' five-year history for price-to-book (P/B), price-to-sales (P/S), and trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) to see if the analyst's price-tag is realistic.

    While we have this AMD conversation, the street values the company at 6.98 times its book value; whereas, competitor Intel Corporation (INTC) trades with a P/B value of 2.34. To get to $5.50 based on the current book value of $0.58 per share, AMD would trade at 9.48 times book, well above the five year average of 4.78, but below the max of 17.06.

    Since Wall Street expects AMD to lose $0.25 per share in 2013, we'll have to work with 2014's consensus profit estimate of $0.04 for our P/E analysis. A price-target of $5.50 requires a P/E of 137.5; whew, feeling a little light headed from the high altitude. How about you? It is dizzying as AMD's highest P/E in the last five-years has been 22.07. Five-fifty seems to be a little out-of-reach based on P/E. "

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.