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November 2014
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AMD annoucement of open drivers...

So the news is out that AMD have committed to opening up specifications and providing some driver code to the open source community!!!

Alex Deucher and I have been working with AMD on this for about 3 months now and it's great to see it finally go public with their plans going forward. The initial code from Novell/SuSE will be appearing around XDS time, and AMD will also be attending.

Initially it will be a 2D modesetting driver, and hopefully a 3D driver will follow later. They are not stopping work on fglrx and will not be releasing any code from fglrx.

They will also be providing us with some access to engineering staff for information on older cards that we hadn't access to before, so we can properly support the current radeon driver (mainly BIOS parsing and workarounds..)

AMD, myself and Red Hat are also working through clearing me from my NDA issues so I can work on the r5xx cards.

So its all very positive and hopefully it we can all work together going forward to produce a top-notch open source driver...

If anyone has any questions on this feel free to post them here and I'll try and answer them if I can...

Comments
Re: Those that do not learn from the past...

ATi probably made a huge mistake and did some third-party licensing and now they can't release it.

Eventually people will realize that they can get better open-source driver performance.

One of the reasons ATi is doing this at all is because of companies like Dell. Dell's Ubuntu line is more or less cherry-picked hardware--they prefer FLOSS drivers because it allows their users maximum flexibility in upgrades.

Dell isn't picking ATi video. They offer Intel integrated video up until the very highest laptop which is an nVidia card.

AMD/ATi wants to do just enough to get a piece of that action.

(Anonymous)
Re: Those that do not learn from the past...

Rubbish.

The Dell Linux efforts so far have so far been only rebadging of *WINDOWS* systems with Ubuntu pre-loaded. The Ideastorm -> Ubuntu preload timeframe of 6-8 weeks is *way* smaller than the full lifecycle of a system (let alone a mobile system).

Look to see what Dell is shipping in 9-18 months to really see what Dell is interested in. Dell is logistics and pragmatism, out-of-the-box is useful for Dell now... But when Dell has their logistics setup (http://linux.dell.com/dru/) and do not need to rely on the boxed version of Ubuntu then you will begin to see how the PC industry works. Remember that Dell doesn't ship Windows retail versions, they have a heavily customized version of Windows. The same will happen with Dell, and the line between Open Source and Proprietary will become quite blurred - since the Dellbuntu version will have *everything* for that system. And each Dellbuntu will be targetted to a particular system... Look at the DRU structure to see the first lines of that... And even then Ubuntu 7.10 will not support new hardware at the 8.04 timeframe, so Dell will have to unclude drivers (Open Source OR Proprietary) with those new systems...

Dell has made statements that they have sold 30,000 Ubuntu, laptops in the last quarter.. Dell will in general sell 500,000 to 1,000,000, so understand Linux's real place in those lines... 30,000 doesn't make a design win.