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 Post subject: AMD to open up graphics specs
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:44 am 
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Watch yourself : http://lwn.net/Articles/248227/

That's like Xmas for me :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:23 am 
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Quote:
R500 upwards

Now to wait for them to release docs on the older chips so I can put my grand collection of old Rage chips to work (or my R400, pretty please) :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:56 am 
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Combuster wrote:
Now to wait for them to release docs on the older chips so I can put my grand collection of old Rage chips to work (or my R400, pretty please) :roll:

While it is unfortunate that all chips prior to the R500 may not have documentation released.. don't those cards already have working drivers for accelerated 2D/3D operations? 8)

As for the Rage cards, Just look at the Mach64 Mesa/DRM/DRI driver Combuster, I know it's not your most favourite programming language.. but I'm sure you'll be able to construct a basic understanding of the cards in question.

http://www.phoronix.com/ seems to have lots of yet unreleased information..

Maybe they'll surprise the world by making a large community site with PDFs documenting "everything" :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:19 am 
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Brynet-Inc wrote:
As for the Rage cards, Just look at the Mach64 Mesa/DRM/DRI driver Combuster, I know it's not your most favourite programming language.. but I'm sure you'll be able to construct a basic understanding of the cards in question.
Trying to send a message to brain@brynet.inc: "Dude, read some of my older posts. Don't you think I have tried? I did." Connection Lost :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:34 am 
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I don't read up on forum members entire posting history.. :roll:

And believe it or not, I was only trying to be of some assistance :wink:

brain@ isn't properly mapped at the moment, It's physical address space is being utilized by stomach@ 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:51 pm 
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Well, It's apparently been confirmed.. sorta :?

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=a ... =826&num=1

Bullet Point Edition:
* AMD/ATI will be providing NDA specifications..
* An open-source library, Interfaces with some firmware on the cards..
* With a new open-source Xorg graphics driver as a result...
* Lots n' Lots of code obfustication.. Magic numbers.. etc..

Sadly there is a word mentioned above that bothers me... :( NDA *Sniffle*

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:26 pm 
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Wildly awesome news update!! :lol:
An OSNews Article wrote:
This morning at the X Developer Summit in the United Kingdom, Matthew Tippett and John Bridgman of AMD have announced that they will be releasing their ATI GPU specifications without any Non-Disclosure Agreements needed by the developers! In other words, their GPU specifications will be given to developers in the open.

Therefore you shouldn't need to worry about another R200 incident taking place. The 2D specifications will be released very soon and the 3D ones will follow shortly.

Let's hope it's true.. and the specifications are available for anyone who wants them.

http://www.osnews.com/story.php/18594/A ... ithout-NDA

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:02 pm 
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Hopefully that forces nVidia's hand.

At any rate, such information will be devoured by OSDev.org and we'll have neater looking hobby OSes in no time... just get ready for more non-RTFM-compliant types :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:05 am 
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SpooK wrote:
Hopefully that forces nVidia's hand.


Unlikely. nVidia has finally won the race for the high-end 3D marketplace. Why should they undisclose anything?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:27 am 
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Solar wrote:
SpooK wrote:
Hopefully that forces nVidia's hand.


Unlikely. nVidia has finally won the race for the high-end 3D marketplace. Why should they undisclose anything?


Maybe not. But unlike the software industry, what has the hardware industry to loose by releasing driver source code? We still have to buy their hardware to use their code! And it'll increase sales because the tiny percentage of people will know the hardware is supported in their favourite OS.

I don't know if my memory is accurate, but I think I remember something about the nVidia Linux driver saying something like "No binaries are found for your system. The nVidia Installer will now try to compile the driver from source. Make sure the kernel headers are in the correct directory." I could have this all wrong and possibly it had the driver as a pre-compiled object and only compiled the kernel glue code to link to to create the driver module.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:57 am 
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MessiahAndrw wrote:
But unlike the software industry, what has the hardware industry to loose by releasing driver source code?


The argument always was, the driver sources would allow the competition to figure out large parts of how the chips worked internally.

Quote:
I could have this all wrong and possibly it had the driver as a pre-compiled object and only compiled the kernel glue code to link to to create the driver module.


That is what's happening.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:05 am 
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:D Someone needs to make sure this news gets out bigtime: aka Slashdot it before AMD hushes it up and the idea disappears into the night.

It's long past due that video drivers got opened up; and necessary for OS devs like us, and open BIOS and the open source community as a whole.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:36 am 
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Don't worry, it's already all over the 'net. What did you expect?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:57 am 
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I'm still not believing a word of it until I have my hands on a hardcopy of the aforementioned specification, and then only if it's actually usable.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Hi,

A while ago there was talk of AMD shifting the GPU onto the same chip as the CPU and/or putting it at the end of it's own hyper-transport link. In this case you end up with another type of processor, with all the video specific stuff (display memory, video mode setup, refresh rate control, monitor capabilities detection, etc) elsewhere.

All the reports I've seen so far say "AMD to open up the GPU". This may not be the same as "AMD to open up their entire video cards", in that it may not include anything outside the GPU itself. This means you'd probably need to use VESA/VBE to change video modes, etc which isn't something I consider the best solution ("thunking", no V86 in long mode and hassles supporting multiple video cards).

SpooK wrote:
At any rate, such information will be devoured by OSDev.org and we'll have neater looking hobby OSes in no time... just get ready for more non-RTFM-compliant types :)


I wouldn't necessarily be that optimistic either. A modern video card driver includes a compiler to convert some sort of generic "shader language" into GPU specific code, which is one of the reasons a decent video driver can be larger than a decent (monolithic) kernel like Linux. Even if AMD provide extremely good documentation for everything (including the GPU and all the additional stuff), it might still take several years for an experienced video driver programmer to create a "full function" video driver.

Hopefully the GPUs used don't change much between different versions and the same compiler can be re-used for each video driver. Also, hopefully someone creates a suitable open source compiler for this (e.g. something that complies with OpenGL's "GLSL" language and is licenced under a BSD style licence).

That said, Intel's onboard graphics has been open for a while now. Has anyone (outside of the "multi-million dollar Linux co-operative") managed to use this information?


Cheers,

Brendan

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