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AMD Hardware

ARM VP To Keynote AMD Developer Conference 70

MojoKid writes "AMD is hosting its first AMD Fusion Developer Summit (AFDS) this summer, from June 13-16. The conference will focus on OpenCL and upcoming AMD Llano performance capabilities under various related usage models. One interesting twist is that the keynote address will be given by Jem Davies, currently ARM's VP of technology. To date, AMD's efforts to push OpenCL as a programming environment have been limited, particularly compared to the work NV has sunk into CUDA. With its profit margins and sales figures improving, AMD is apparently turning back to address the situation — and ARM's a natural ally. The attraction of OpenCL is that it can potentially be used to improve handheld device performance. AMD's explicit mention of ARM hints that there might be more than meets the eye to this conference as well."
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ARM VP To Keynote AMD Developer Conference

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  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @08:37AM (#35951630)

    How about spending a few engineering dollars and releasing GOOD well documented drivers? I'm a regular reader of the XBMC forums [] and anyone that wants to use Linux more or less needs to buy Nvidia hardware.

    I'm not in the 'anti-closed binary' camp, I just want the best tool for the job. Nvidia provides great CUDA and VDPAU support and it more or less 'just works'. ATI & Intel decided to jump on the Linux bandwagon by opening up everything and so far it seems like the community really hasn't jumped on it. I paid money for your hardware, why not pay an engineer to write software I can actually use?

    When I go car shopping and the sales associate shows me 2 cars. One is completely built, works well enough and has good factory support BUT I'm not allowed to modify it. Or the second one which is actually just in a crate. It comes partially assembled... but don't worry. There is complete documentation for every single loose part and instructions on how to put it together. And the 2 cars cost nearly the same.

    I'm going to choose the first car. My time IS worth something and I'd rather have something I can't modify but works great as is (NVidia's drivers) to something that really is useless unless I, or someone else, uses the documentation to do something (ATI). Especially when the hardware costs are nearly the same.

    • I'd be satisfied if ATI would release enough information to support their hardware. I have a netbook based on R690M chipset and Athlon 64 L110 and the graphics only work correctly under Vista. They limit me to one suspend-resume cycle under Windows 7, suspend never resumes properly under Linux, and I get massive graphics corruption in Linux even with RenderAccel disabled. Further, power saving doesn't work properly anywhere but Vista; I have a five hour battery, get about 4:30 in Vista (no crap) but about 3

      • Wow, except for the Win7 stuff that sounds so much like my experience with my old HP notebook/tablet. I finally did go back to Vista on that.

        I replaced the hard-drive with an ssd - which stopped the thing's exhaust from scorching me and extends the battery life a bit... now I have an overpriced, overweight but moderately nice to use in dim light ebook reader. In tablet mode a single page of a magazine like SciAm fits perfectly on the screen and is still readable so it pretty much eliminates scrolling.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      That second car does not have all the docs, or someone could build it. AMD leaves out anything relating to video acceleration for example. This is to protect their windows DRM, meaning me a linux user is suffering due to windows DRM.

      • Then can't you just buy a different video card (or different laptop with built in video from another company), and let the market decide?

    • IMHO, AMD also provides decent binary drivers and programming tools. I like to reward AMD for their open-source attitude, but frankly, I am happy running their binaries for video decoding and number crunching, while waiting for the OSS drivers to improve.
      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Decent Binaries?
        Since when? Try using an ATI card to run games in wine, or do anything particularly OpenGL heavy and watch what happens.

        • I do watch what happens, sometimes for long periods of time. What happens? My game runs just fine, often even better than in Windows.

        • Compared to a vast majority of binary software/drivers out there, AMD graphics drivers are awesome. Maybe Nvidia is simply better for gaming, in that case choose the best tool for the job. For certain integer-heavy number crunching applications, Radeons are currently the best by a wide margin (something like 5x faster at similar price and wattage).
          • I am annoyed (under Linux) that support for video accelerations sucks or does not exist. Flash and just web browsing with Chrome and Firefox 4 is painful in that platform as a result.

            I switched back to Windows 7 and use a VM for Linux programming for serverish things. Adobe maintains they will not support hardware acceleration at all for any Intel or ATI products because the drivers are hacks and scripts and are not professional grade like their MacOSX and Windows counterparts.

            Under Windows 7 I like my ATI

        • by Svartalf ( 2997 )

          Define OpenGL heavy. The drivers typically fall flat on their face compared to NVidia when your developer "oopsed" something on a shader or a call- basically, the drivers are less tolerant of errors in coding than NVidia's. As for WINE...don't know, it's been a bit since I've tried doing much in it. I port titles after hours so I tend to not rely on band-aids to get games to play... ( :-D )

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Funny but the FOSS community has said for years that if "They just documented the chips we would write the drivers.". What it comes down to is money. Very few people buy hardware to run Linux on. Most people buy hardware to run Windows on. Most resources goes to where most profit comes from. From what I have heard ATI drivers have gotten much better lately.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That's because AMD has faked releasing documentation. They have released the most basic worth-/useless parts.
        And as promised, the XOrg radeon team already implemented that, plus a lot more.
        As can be seen here: []

        If they release stuff that actually documents the 3D and video stuff, instead of just basic mode setting & co, then we'll fix the bits that are missing too.

        But it's so nice of this whole thread with all parent posts and most sibling posts, to just spew

        • by Svartalf ( 2997 )

          Uh, no... It's more because they're trying to get INFRASTRUCTURE in right so that you have no bottlenecks in the rendering path that are avoidable. You're watching the devs work towards what NVidia and AMD have already had 10+ years at doing for their couple of year's at it so far. It's NOT like the old drivers that you just needed to know how to submit verticies and textures to the rasterization engine quickly like with RagePRO, Rage128, and G200/400 cards (I should know about BOTH classes of hardware..

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I use AMD catylist with xbmc. I have the va-api implementation and it works all right.

    • It's attitudes like this that makes companies give up on releasing things to the open source community. In the case of ATI, we've been begging for years, and when we finally got what we want, we're like... "sure, you gave us lots of toilet paper, but our asses are still not wiped, so get on it!"
    • I have to say that is the general feeling I'm getting about a lot of stuff.

      I want to play around a bit with GPU programming for scientific calculation and the feeling I am getting is that my choices are either Linux with NVidia or Windows with ATI (or NVidia).

      It's pretty much the same with Linux itself. I talked the wife into using Linux instead of Windows on her desktop and netbook but that pretty much meant Ubuntu. I don't want to have to maintain two different flavors so that means I run Ubuntu too. M

    • by Svartalf ( 2997 )

      Considering that the remark that NVidia's drivers working well is a Your Mileage May Vary Considerably (Fermi not being well supported under Nouveau, NVidia dropping 2D driver support and pointing people to Nouveau for initial bring up, and select Fermi chipsets NOT being supported (GT440, for example...)) you MIGHT just want to moderate your remarks on that score.

    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      What if one car is completely build and works 'well enough' and has good factory support, but the other one offers 30% more performance, has all-wheel drive (VT), and twice as much+ storage space (8-16GB RAM support) - though it needs new glow plugs (you can start it, but only in warm weather).

      That's the dichotomy of Atom vs. Bobcat, not what you propose.

  • ARM and AMD (Score:5, Informative)

    by EponymousCustard ( 1442693 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @08:56AM (#35951744)
    Speaking to EE Times during a discussion of ARM's first quarter financial results CEO Warren East said: "AMD is a successful company selling microprocessors. ARM is in the business of licensing microprocessor designs. It is perfectly natural that we should have been trying to sell microprocessor designs to AMD for about the last ten years. Hitherto we haven't been successful." East also said: "AMD has signaled they are going through a rethink of their strategy, and that must provide a heightened opportunity for ARM. They might use ARM microprocessors in the future and you've got to expect that we would be trying to persuade them of that." []
    • From the linked article:

      AMD has lagged NV enormously when it comes to gaming or general application performance.


      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        That makes no sense. I am setting up a new box and will have to pay more for a worse NV card to get the performance I want since I run linux.

        All my other machines use intel graphics, but I want to game on that one.

  • 2012 will be the year of ARM on the desktop.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.