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NOTE: This blog gives a "behind the scenes look" at the progress of the RadeonHD driver's development. As such, its contents reflect the state of the development version of the driver, and not the state of the publicly released version.

RadeonHD.chip Supports Obtaining Modes Via DDC

A few days ago it was announced at Pianeta Amiga 2009 in Empoli, Italy, that Amiga OS 4.x will soon support obtaining monitor resolutions automatically via the Display Data Channel (DDC) (see this report on the show). Now that this has been made public, I can announce that the RadeonHD.chip driver has DDC support too. In fact, it has been supported since February of this year.

A Moving Target - AMD Releases the Radeon HD 5800 Series

I had hoped that AMD would hold off with producing a new generation graphics card but, a few days ago, they released two new cards, the Radeon HD 5850 and 5870. This is based on the next generation RV880 chipset. The Radeon HD 4000 series was based on R7xx chipsets. The 5800 series of cards pushes graphics performance and computational possibilites yet another step forward. AMD have listed OpenCL support as coming in 2010 (for platforms that they write drivers for themselves), which is good news for people like me who do non-3D computationally intensive work.

RadeonHD.chip - Radeon HD 4350 PCI VGA Output is Working

Radeon HD 4350 screenmode closeupAfter days of persistent effort, the VGA output on Radeon HD 4350 that eXec magazine donated to me is finally working on Amiga OS 4.x. This is the first time that a current generation graphics card is working on Amiga OS 4.x. Granted, there is no hardware acceleration yet, but the start is there. The problem was small, but very hard to find. To give people an idea of how frustrating driver development can be, here is the whole saga.

RadeonHD - Status Update and Thank You for Your Generosity

I would like to thank everyone who have donated generously to the RadeonHD driver for Amiga OS 4.x project over the last few weeks. All donations small and large were most appreciated, and shows the level of interest in this project. Some people even donated over $100 NZ ($50). Rest assured that I will work hard (time permitting) toward developing a releasable driver. A special thank you to the eXec magazine in Poland for their donation of a Radeon HD 4350 PCI card, and for their campaign to support this project.

RadeonHD - A Call for Beta Testers

The driver has progressed to the stage at which it is ready for testing by a wider group of users. Amiga OS 4.x beta testers have already had access to an early beta. However, very few people have RadeonHD graphics cards, and more testers are needed. To that end, I am accepting applications to beta test the RadeonHD.chip driver.

R5xx Compositing or R6xx Blitter Acceleration Poll Closed

The poll that was run asking for input as to what should be developed next has now been closed. 151 votes were cast, of which 85 (56%) were for R5xx compositing and 66 (44%) were for R6xx blitter hardware acceleration. Given these results, R5xx compositing will be developed next.

RadeonHD - Help Decide What is Developed Next

This is just a quick post to the RadeonHD development log in order to point people to the poll regarding what should be developed next. Basically the choice is between finishing off 2D support for R5xx based cards (i.e., Radeon X1000 series) in the form of hardware compositing, or starting on 2D blitter support for R6xx based cards (i.e., Radeon HD 2000 and 3000 series). This is your chance to have a direct input on what happens next. Please note that R5xx chipset compositing will be completed eventually regardless of which option is chosen; the results of the poll will change what order things are implemented.

2D Blitter Acceleration for R5xx Chipsets is Done

Hardware acceleration of 2D blitter operations for R5xx chipsets (Radeon X1000 series cards) was completed last with the exception of blitting patterns. This is another milestone in the development of the RadeonHD for Amiga OS 4.x graphics driver. Blitting patterns was left out because it is a less frequently used operation that cannot be performed efficiently by the R5xx's 2D acceleration hardware. Instead, it would require using the R5xx's 3D capabilities. This will be added later, after hardware compositing is added (which also uses the 3D capabilities).

Hardware Accelerated Solid Rectangles for R5xx Based Cards

Solid rectangles are now rendered by the graphics card, instead of by the CPU. This is the first hardware accelerated operation implemented in the RadeonHD driver (for Amiga OS 4.x). The increase in speed can be seen in benchmarks made using the P96Speed utility (specifically, the RectFill() benchmark):

Big-Endian Display Modes for R5xx Cards

Hardware acceleration for R5xx cards is still a work in progress. In the meantime I have discovered how to switch the card to performing byte-swapping in order to convert from big-endian to little-endian modes for R5xx cards (Radeon X1000 series). Previously, all modes were simply defined as being little-endian, thus byte-swapping had to be performed in software by Picasso96. This is now handled automatically by the R5xx chipset.

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