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AMD Graphics Open Source Hardware Linux

AMD Develops New Linux Open-Source Driver Model 142

An anonymous reader writes "AMD privately shared with Phoronix during GDC2014 that they're developing a new Linux driver model. While there will still be an open (Gallium3D) and closed-source (Catalyst) driver, the Catalyst driver will be much smaller. AMD developers are trying to isolate the closed-source portion of the driver to just user-space while the kernel driver that's in the mainline Linux kernel would also be used by Catalyst. It's not clear if this will ultimately work but they hope it will for reducing code duplication, eliminating fragmentation with different kernels, and allowing open and closed-source driver developers to better collaborate over the AMD Radeon Linux kernel driver."
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AMD Develops New Linux Open-Source Driver Model

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  • Re:Why, oh why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @05:15PM (#46553703)

    The proprietary driver includes licensed/patented code that they can't legally use in an open source driver.

  • Re:Intel (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @05:23PM (#46553763) Homepage

    Lower power consumption in better CPUs. Why choose AMD?

    The most recent generation of chips definitely has power issues, but it seems like you get a lot more bang for your buck with AMD. What can you get that is decent from Intel for $120? You can get a fairly decent chip from AMD for that.

  • Re:Intel (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @05:29PM (#46553795)

    Hell, a 40$ APU from AMD beats anything Intel has to offer for almost twice as much, not to mention that even at that price the AMD has a decent GPU while the Intel has none at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @06:03PM (#46553993)

    That point was specifically addressed the the article. It isn't that AMD can't legally open up the code, but that is where they view their secret sauce of optimizations and tweaks. If they were to open it up, they fear that competitors might get a leg up and be able to use the same tricks.

  • by raxx7 ( 205260 ) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @06:34PM (#46554173) Homepage

    Not sure what you're thinking..

    A Linux graphics card driver has 3 components: the kernel module, the X module and the libGL/CL/etc implementation.
    There are two AMD driver for Linux -- the proprietary one and the open source one, each with it's own 3 components.

    The proprietary one offers better OpenGL/OpenCL performance and features (eg, OpenGL 4.4 instead of 3.1), as well as official certification for a number of applications.
    But it also tends to suffer from system integration issues, at the kernel and X level. Sometimes, they work poorly for basic things, they don't work with the latest kernel or X for a while, etc.

    So, what looks here is that AMD wants to reduce the proprietary to the libGL/CL component and leverage on the open source for the kernel driver. Maybe X driver too, eventually.

  • Re:Intel (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:33AM (#46555965)
    A comparison amongst users in typical rigs, rather than in review-site benchmark rigs. [cpubenchmark.net]
    i7-860 1217 / 5110 (812 samples, single threaded / overall)
    FX-8350 1512 / 9049 (3149 samples, single threaded / overall)

    The AMD in question is winning against the Intel in question in single threaded, and winning greatly in multi-threaded. However this AMD chip, at $200, is not really what the GP was talking about. He was talking about ~$150 APU's that also saves him money on a video card.

    Comparison of the i7-860 vs the A10-6800K [cpubenchmark.net]

    i7-860 1217 / 5110 (812 samples, single threaded / overall)
    A10-6800K 1555 / 5006 (205 samples, single threaded / overall)

On a paper submitted by a physicist colleague: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." -- Wolfgang Pauli