This is purely of interest to the small crowd fitting in the union of sets gamer – linux user – ATI user with the possibility of developer being an indicator of some note. Word on the street (or rather, on the most current Linux sites) is that an AMD representative has announced plans at the kernel summit to enable development of open source drivers for ATI graphics processors – at least for the R500 and forward.
A quick report from the kernel summit: AMD’s representative at the summit has announced that the company has made a decision to enable the development of open source drivers for all of its (ATI) graphics processors from the R500 going forward. There will be specifications available and a skeleton driver as well; a free 2D driver is anticipated by the end of the year. The rest will have to be written; freeing of the existing binary-only driver is not in the cards, and “that is better for everybody.” Things are looking good on this front. More in the kernel summit report to come.
That’s a serious boost to the credibility of an ATI-based Linux system for gamers at the very least. I know personally I have avoided ATI cards for years due to long-term Windows driver issues (which are slowly resolved, if ever) and barely useable at times Linux drivers. It’s hard to do, though, given how powerful ATI videocards have become, but until reliable drivers are there, I avoid them. Well, with the open source community working on them with more information, hopefully the Linux issues will soon be cleared up and I’ll be able to seriously consider an ATI card in a future upgrade.
The comments in the linked article are also worth perusing, just to get a feel for the reactions from the open source side of tech.
[tags]Linux, ATI, Open Source, Kernel summit, Graphics, GPU[/tags]