Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 22:56 UTC, submitted by Michael Larabel
AMD "For the past several weeks we have been referencing AMD's 'tcore' in several of our articles, which is a user-space software suite that has been developed and used internally at ATI by engineers to work on various aspects of their binary drivers. Tcore is primarily used for testing prior to the availability of the actual silicon for their forthcoming graphics processors. John Bridgman and Alex Deucher have been working tediously to get this tcore source-code sanitized and cleared for public release, and finally they have reached this milestone. AMD has just published the first bits of open-source 3D programming documentation for ATI GPUs. This 3D programming documentation covers the R500 series and even goes back with information on the R300/400 series as well. The R600 3D programming guide will also be out soon. This information available today is what will foster the growth of open-source R500/600 3D support for the Radeon and RadeonHD drivers as well as R600 2D acceleration."
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Well done AMD
by tux68 on Sun 24th Feb 2008 06:11 UTC
tux68
Member since:
2006-10-24

It's nice to see proof the oft argued notion that it is economically and legally impossible for graphic card vendors to support open source is indeed bunk.

While i'm sure that there will still be some challenges with regard to embedded DRM, another major step has been taken here. So a hearty thank you to AMD and everyone involved. At the very least, this should put to bed speculation that AMD isn't serious about their effort to support open source.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Well done AMD
by tomcat on Sun 24th Feb 2008 07:02 in reply to "Well done AMD"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

It's nice to see proof the oft argued notion that it is economically and legally impossible for graphic card vendors to support open source is indeed bunk.


The open question, it would seem, is how much has actually been documented. There may be aspects of the hardware that aren't documented in order to protect trade secrets, etc -- but which are present in the closed-source driver. I have a feeling that AMD doesn't mind releasing technical docs for ATI's older technology -- but not the latest hardware -- which is fine. There's more than enough power in the R600 generation of cards to do some useful stuff.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Well done AMD
by tux68 on Sun 24th Feb 2008 07:28 in reply to "RE: Well done AMD"
tux68 Member since:
2006-10-24

The open question, it would seem, is how much has actually been documented. There may be aspects of the hardware that aren't documented in order to protect trade secrets, etc -- but which are present in the closed-source driver.

Agreed. No doubt there are still many undocumented features and serious impediments to full disclosure, especially w.r.t DRM. But we don't live in a perfect world so personally i applaud AMD's efforts even though they fall short of a purists ideal.

I have a feeling that AMD doesn't mind releasing technical docs for ATI's older technology -- but not the latest hardware -- which is fine. There's more than enough power in the R600 generation of cards to do some useful stuff.

The r600 series of chips represent AMD's latest offerings (Radeon HD 2000/3000) and 3D documentation is said to be available very soon. In fact, ATI said it will be less inclined to release docs for older gear, presumably because there is less economic incentive to support product that is closer to end of life.

Edited 2008-02-24 07:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3