AMD Published GPU Guides for Open Source Community

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | October 2, 2013 - 09:03 PM |
Tagged: amd, linux

Last week, NVIDIA published documentation for Nouveau to heal wounds with the open source community. AMD had a better reputation and intends to maintain it. On Tuesday, Alex Deucher published 9 PDF documents, 1178 pages of register and acceleration documentation along with 18 pages of HDA GPU audio programming details, compared to the 42 pages NVIDIA published.

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Sure, a page to page comparison is meaningless, but it is clear AMD did not want to be outdone. This is especially true when you consider that some of these documents date back to early 2009. Still, reactionary or not, the open source community should accept the assistance with open arms... and open x86s?

I should note that these documents do not cover Volcanic Islands; they are for everything between Evergreen and Sea Islands.

Source: AMD

October 2, 2013 | 09:39 PM - Posted by derz

Happy to see Open Source becoming so popular!

October 2, 2013 | 10:41 PM - Posted by Branthog

Good, time for a little brewing competition on open source (and linux!) between AMDizzle and NVIDIA.

October 2, 2013 | 11:16 PM - Posted by monstercameron (not verified)

I reject the assertions implied here that AMD was playing catch up to Nvidia in any way, shape or form. Nvidia is opposed to releasing opensource/free software while AMD has been slowly building their GPU IP on a FOSS platform. So it definitely isn't a reactionary move on AMD's part rather it is a reactionary move on Nvidia's part, suddenly as linux is gaining mind share, they cozy up to the nouveau guys who HAD TO DO SOME REVERSE ENGINEERING to get "working drivers."

October 3, 2013 | 07:12 AM - Posted by Coupe

Great point monster. I agree wholeheartedly. Seems like NVIDIA is in a little bit of damage control because of their consistent rejection of openness.

October 3, 2013 | 11:49 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I meant reactionary in the sense that a 200 page document from January 2009 being released, along with almost a thousand other pages, a week after NVIDIA released documentation...

... probably wouldn't have been released, today, if NVIDIA hadn't released their documentation last week. I was not implying they were behind NVIDIA three days ago.

October 3, 2013 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Now if the makers of open source graphics software would begin to target OpenCL on the GPU and Multitreading on the CPU, to simultaneously accelerate BOTH Editing and rendering! I see no reason why, if I have a high polygon mesh, why it should take 5 or 10 Min. to select only the sharp edges on a mesh! Why, if I am rendering, does the software Utilize All 4 cores, and all 8 threads at 100%, but when I am editing a mesh, the software only uses 3% of one available processor thread! Time for more focus on speeding up the editing workflow, where the majority of a users time is spent. If the Major Players in the GPU market want to have their hardware utilized in the open source rigs of the future, they better start funding and doing more development of the software tool chains, that ease the use of GPU acceleration for both editing and rendering for highly parallel processing systems! This begins with better driver support of the latest OpenGL, OpenCL standards, and better support for timely fixes, if problems are found! One of the most frustrating experiences is having all the processing power (An integrated GPU, quad core multi-hreaded processor, and A descrete GPU), and having to wait, beacuse the computer's software (OS and drivers, Etc.) can not make simultaneous use of all the processing assets on my computing platform!

October 5, 2013 | 09:38 AM - Posted by praack

a few years ago AMD quietly announced they were considering the shutdown of their linux group- not much was said - other than it was a sad day.

we are a strange sort- Steam pushes the steam os- which is a linux build and people immediately pull it apart- not seeing the benefit it brings to the linux community. yet the Steam OS pushes AMD And Nvidia to rethink Linux

AMD and Nvidia are in business- they have to make money to keep going, so Open Source will eventually have to show sales in some manner- or it goes away.

So steam boxes based on current high end hardware- Bring it one! yeah i know Linux can run on a comquat and many people try to do that- but if no one is buying new hardware- AMD and Nvidia will not support the community