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Open Source AMD Graphics Hardware

AMD Goes Open Source, Announces GPUOpen Initiative, Linux Compiler, Drivers (hothardware.com) 89

MojoKid writes: AMD announced today that the company is releasing a slew of open-source software and tools to give game developers, heterogeneous applications, and HPC applications deeper access to the GPU and GPU resources. AMD and their Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) are looking for ways to ease game development, so developers can more easily re-use code and port their games from consoles over to the PC. With GPUOpen, game developers will have direct access to GPU hardware, as well as access to a large collection of open source effects, tools, libraries and SDKs, which are being made available on GitHub under an MIT open-source license. As part of the effort, the company is also releasing a new HCC C++ compiler which will be a tool in enabling developers to more easily leverage the resources of discrete GPU hardware in heterogeneous systems. The HCC complier also allows developers to convert CUDA code to portable C++. According to AMD, internal testing shows that in many cases 90 percent or more of CUDA code can be automatically converted into C++ with the final 10 percent converted manually in the widely popular C++ language. An early access program for the "Boltzmann Initiative" tools is planned for Q1 2016.
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AMD Goes Open Source, Announces GPUOpen Initiative, Linux Compiler, Drivers

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  • So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @11:22AM (#51121801)
    Decent Windows/Linux drivers now?
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @12:28PM (#51122325)

      Isn't this the AMD version of "Year of Linux on the Desktop"?

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @07:12PM (#51125905) Journal

      Been AMD/ATI exclusive since the X1650 Pro and I only had a single driver that was flaky and that was 14.4 and even on it gaming was fine, it merely had issues providing video acceleration through third party programs like VLC..

      So perhaps you could give us a list of what issues you've been having and on what AMD/ATI hardware? Because I know I see a hell of a lot more crap drivers dealing with nvidia hardware at the shop, frustrating enough to me that for the only time in history me and Linus Torvalds agree on something [gizmodo.com.au] so I look forward to hearing about your issues, perhaps you could provide a couple screencaps?

      BTW I thought /. was all gung ho FOSS, so what happened? Is it not the FOSS community that has been saying for years "just give us the specs and open the code and the kernel devs will handle it"? Is that not EXACTLY what AMD did, in fact hiring guys to work on the FOSS driver to get it up to speed quicker? I have to find it frankly baffling how many here are supposedly all for the four freedoms yet when the rubber meets the road will go with Nvidia, a company that constantly tries to force proprietary solutions like CUDA over FOSS solutions like OpenCL, a company that has made it clear they are not gonna open squat over a company that has been providing docs and specs and opening their code since 2012...wth people? Is this bizzaro world, where support for FOSS equals supporting the proprietary choice?

      • Well, I had a 4870X2 in the main computer and today I have a HD6000 series on the secondary computer. The fact is, to start the driver user interface is really shitty and amateur. 160MB (or more) to make a user interface for a driver, really? Second, I suppose I don't need to mention the thousands of cases of problems caused by the driver (the hardware itself is good), I will not do all the necessary research for you just ignore it.

        But what bothers me more in this case is that AMD known for years that th
        • You are bitching about 160Mb...in 2015? Really? WTF kinda low rent mickey mouse hardware you running that you can even fricking NOTICE 160Mb of RAM? For fucks sake simply reading this used more than 160Mb of RAM! And why in the hell are you even launching the control center enough to know this? BTW have you bothered to see how much the Nvidia Control Panel uses?

          If the most you can find to bitch about is how the control panel uses less MB than a smartphone UI from 2007? I think you are making my case more

          • You are bitching about 160Mb...in 2015? Really?

            Why I should spend 160MB to make my application work if I can make it work just fine with only 10MB? Just because I now have 16GB of RAM to use I should be wasting her with sloppy applications? It seems to me you live in a very wasteful society.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Certainly makes AMD to look a bit more ethical in my eyes now.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Coming next is Windows Server for GPU an will be licensed by GPU core.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    i.e. similar to how Netscape went open source right before "Netscape" the commercial company went away (bought by aol... then becomes mozilla which outputs current firefox).

    • Maybe if AMD only made software, but I believe they're still considered a hardware company. CPUs and GPUs and stuff like that.

      • AMD owns no fabs; they don't make hardware. They only design it.

      • Maybe if AMD only made software, but I believe they're still considered a hardware company. CPUs and GPUs and stuff like that.

        Well go google Nvida Gameworks? All the crappy buggy ports of games that are optimized for Nvidia hardware are making AMD GPUs look bad and use secrets and hacks to prevent debugging.

        This is an alternative to Nvidia gameworks so developers stop using hairworks, physics works, and other things that make AMD appear slower

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think the appropriate response is "I'll believe it when I see it". AMD has cried wolf WAY too many times on this matter. I can remember getting excited about AMD "open sourcing" their stuff 10 years ago, but it turned out to be little more than a Microsoft "open sourcing", i.e. half-assed with strings attached.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @02:20PM (#51123413) Homepage

      is this the last gasp for amd?
      i.e. similar to how Netscape went open source right before "Netscape" the commercial company went away (bought by aol... then becomes mozilla which outputs current firefox).

      Probably not, but it is an act of desperation. It's no secret that in the past AMD and nVidia has been very anxious to keep Intel out of the high performance graphics market. That gap is closing fast, even though they don't do discrete cards they're quite efficient and well-supported with almost 20% market share on Steam. Meanwhile nVidia has been very successful pushing their GameWorks middleware, G-Sync, CUDA and other proprietary nVidia-only technologies. So I think this is AMD realizing they can't win a war on two fronts and trying to make common cause with Intel to share AMD's middleware to get game support, while still hopefully being able to find a niche for their hardware.

      Of course the risk is that Intel just gobbles up AMD's graphics market share the same way Intel's almost completely gobbled up the x86_64 market but the way the gaming market is heading right now I don't think they have a choice. If letting Intel use their middleware can lead to better game support (probably) and Intel stays out of discrete cards (probably) and AMD can come up with discrete GPUs that match nVidia (maybe...) it might work. At least if this flops some good technology got open sourced, I don't like the implication that open sourcing is a last ditch attempt though. Intel is working hard on open source drivers in Mesa and that's hardly a failure.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    AMD seems desperate to garner any headlines it can these days. How much open source gaming is really around, and how many will think this is going to sway any gaming developer over to AMD solely? I get that many games for PC's are designed for certain hardware, but that's always been the case and it has never really amounted to any significant dedication from users for certain hardware. I keep reading how great Linux games are, but its nothing compared to the rest of the retail gaming ecosystem and never wi

    • by Teancum ( 67324 )

      AMD seems desperate to garner any headlines it can these days. How much open source gaming is really around, and how many will think this is going to sway any gaming developer over to AMD solely?

      While open source gaming might be a point here, the real market is toward even full commercial software development companies with decent software developers who can really dig into the source code to tweak their games to the full potential on this hardware. Since they don't need to pay licensing fees, the traditional retail game developers will be able to have some of their smaller projects or slightly risky games that may have slightly smaller budgets to use this hardware instead of projects where they p

  • Actual Status (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bulled ( 956533 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @12:32PM (#51122361)
    I see lots of articles about how AMD plans to do this, that, and the other using open source components. What I want to know, is can I run 3D games using the in-tree kernel module with the proprietary user modules yet? This was promised a while back and I haven't seen any more about it. I want to support the effort, but I am not buying another AMD card until I see it actually work.
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @12:59PM (#51122609)

    while i think this is great, i'll wait for AMD's GPU driver to actually show up in the kernel upstream before putting any stock in what they say.

    • by chuckymonkey ( 1059244 ) <charles DOT d DO ... AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @01:27PM (#51122897) Journal
      It's been in the kernel for a few months and it's constantly being updated and fixed. They're actually doing a pretty good job of it honestly. The catalyst driver still doesn't use it, but they will soonish. Mesa uses it and it works really well actually. This is the earliest article I could find, more recent ones have mesa 11 benchmarks where the Radeon driver has almost caught up to the catalyst in some areas. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.p... [phoronix.com]

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