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HomeTechnologyDefying obsolescence, AMD's 22-year-old Radeon GPUs get new Linux drivers

Defying obsolescence, AMD’s 22-year-old Radeon GPUs get new Linux drivers


Backside line: For customers that also depend on the traditional ATI R300 graphics processor sequence, open supply has come to the rescue as soon as once more. This newest replace was not a straightforward repair to make, the developer says, and customers may have entry to it this yr.

The ATI R300 graphics processor sequence was first launched in 2002 with the discharge of the ATI Radeon 9700 Professional. Constructed on the 150nm course of and that includes an AGP interface – later to be supplanted by PCIe – the playing cards aren’t capable of run the newest video games, however the open-source group nonetheless helps them permitting them to run on newer Linux distributions.

Particularly, driver updates for ATI’s R300 by R500 sequence Radeon GPUs can be accessible this quarter in Mesa 24.0 and customers may have entry to the replace by the tip of the yr. Open-source developer Pavel Ondracka explains that the Mesa Gallium3D OpenGL driver replace will deal with NIR reducing, which is expounded to the vertex shaders of the GPUs. “The MR strikes many of the remaining backend reducing into NIR, particularly ftrunc, fcsel – when appropriate – and flrp. The backend reducing paths are eliminated, which is a prerequisite for extra backend cleanups, he says, pointing to a MR he has that is able to do away with backend DCE for vertex shaders.”

There have been quite a few updates to the driving force through the years by the open supply group in its help for the pre-R600 sequence Radeon {hardware}, with a latest change being its adaptation to the brand new Mesa interfaces such because the transition to NIR intermediate illustration. AMD, for its half, focuses totally on present technology and future {hardware}.

It’s worthwhile to take a more in-depth take a look at the ATI Radeon 9700 Professional as the truth that they will nonetheless run a recent Linux OS is admirable. The GPU had 110 million transistors, a core clock pace of 325MHz, 256MB of reminiscence, and 19.8GB/s of reminiscence bandwidth. It was the quickest GPU on the time of its launch and the primary to totally help DirectX 9.

Right this moment its capabilities are largely restricted to displaying home windows and textual content however due to the open-source group they’re nonetheless useful. It must also be famous that this present replace was not a straightforward repair to make, based on Ondracka, who says he tried to get it proper 5 occasions beforehand however all the time did not make it work fairly till now.

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