News ATI drivers

Hal V. Engel hvengel at
Thu Sep 6 12:21:40 PDT 2007

On Thursday 06 September 2007 08:14:05 Xavier Bestel wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-09-06 at 08:06 -0700, Wil Reichert wrote:
> > I'm going to be optimistic and hope that they will actually have some
> > action behind their words.  I know its the same crap we've heard in so
> > many other press releases in the past, perhaps this time will be
> > different?
> Well, this time it's told by AMD instead of ATI. Knowledgeable people at
> the kernel summit are enclined to trust them.

This is a key point.  AMD now OWNS ATI and AMD is running the show not ATI.  
Unlike the premerger ATI, AMD has a very good relationship with the FOSS 
community and has a very good and well dissevered reputation in this regard.  
This relationship/reputation is on par with Intel.  In addition, they  (AMD) 
know how important the Linux/Unix/FOSS market is to them.  The amd64/Opteron 
processors were a huge success in this market segment in part because AMD 
worked with the Linux kernel developers and other groups to insure that it 
was well supported.   It only makes sense that they would want the same thing 
to happen with their GPU product line.

Reports on the net also indicate that key X.Org and kernel developers such as 
David Airlie, Jerome Glisse and Alex Deucher have been working with AMD on 
this new strategy.   There are also reports that the work on the new open 
source driver has been underway for some time and that the effort has been 
aggressive.  AMD has been funding this work through Novell/SuSE.  The reports 
also say that the base line driver should be available next week.   If these 
reports are true this is a huge win and it will mean that AMD "gets it" and 
is doing the right things.

David, Jerome or Alex - can you comment on this news yet?

> But, even if Gene's tone is quite trollish^Wangry, he's right it doesn't
> hurt to wait a bit before throwing money at them :)

I agree that we should take a wait and see attitude.  But if the reports that 
we have seen so far are true we should only have to wait a few weeks to have 
a good understanding of where this is going.  If we were still dealing with 
the old ATI at this point I would be more than skeptical but we are dealing 
with AMD now.  Personally I am optimistic that AMD will get this right.  I 
should add that considering the apparent veracity and level of detail of the 
current reports we are seeing if AMD were to not follow through it would be a 
huge PR problem for them.  I don't think they will let that happen and by all 
appearances they are putting forth a real effort to correct past issues.


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