AMD Details Strategic Open Source Graphics Driver Development

AMD announced a major strategic initiative to support the Open Source development community for ATI Radeon graphics processors. The week of September 10th, AMD plans to provide an open source information and development package supporting the ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 series as well as ATI Radeon X1000 series of graphics processing units (GPU) on Linux desktops. To accelerate this initiative, AMD partnered with Novell’s SuSE Linux engineering team. The initial release includes source code and hardware specifications to engage the Open Source community for collaboration on 2D graphics drivers. Over the following months, AMD will work with the community to enable 2D, 3D and video playback acceleration to provide the best possible experience on the Linux desktop. This strategy complements and enhances AMD's existing support of the Linux community through its regularly released high performance Catalyst driver.

“AMD has a proven track record of collaboration with the software eco-system to support the needs of the Open Source community,” said Phil Hester, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at AMD. “With this announcement we’re demonstrating our commitment to respond to the needs of the Open Source community and adopt a consistent approach across CPU and GPU technologies. By supporting open source drivers on our industry-leading ATI Radeon graphics processors we accelerate innovation across the entire AMD platform.”

AMD and Novell have worked closely together for a number of years to bring breakthrough technology to the open source market. With this driver announcement, AMD and Novell continue their successful collaboration to deliver innovative solutions to the marketplace.

“The lack of open source drivers for graphics hardware has long been a major obstacle for Linux developers and Linux desktop users,” said Nat Friedman, chief technology and strategy officer for Open Source at Novell. “Our ultimate goal is complete, high-quality open source drivers for all video hardware. Today's announcement brings us one major step closer. Novell is pleased to have extended our collaboration with AMD to deliver the initial drivers that will allow Open Source developers to make the Linux experience even better on desktops, laptops and workstations, and we look forward to contributing this initial code to X.Org.”

As part of the process AMD consulted with leading members of the Open Source community and the X.Org Community to ensure that the driver addressed the needs of both Open Source developers and Linux users. Most importantly, the release of these specifications will allow the development community to partner with AMD to drive new innovations for the Linux desktop. AMD will provide on going support for this project with an in-house development team.

“AMD announced its intention to extend support of open source ATI drivers at Red Hat's Summit conference in May of this year, so we are delighted that the work necessary to achieve this has come to fruition,” said Brian Stevens, Red Hat's Chief Technology Officer. “This action affirms AMD's commitment to Linux and the Open Source community and will greatly improve the “out-of-box” experience for users. AMD's decision has a strong supporting business case, demonstrating that Linux clients represent a significant market opportunity. It is a bold decision for AMD, and they deserve full credit.”

"The combination of AMD's graphics hardware and open source innovation will accelerate the emergence of new desktop computing technologies", said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu. "AMD's timing is excellent, given the surge in Linux desktop adoption and the focus now in the Open Source community on next generation visualization and desktop interaction models."

Topic: