Projects » Amiga OS 4 Projects » RadeonHD Driver » RadeonHD Development Log

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.

Updates and Installers

It has been several weeks since I posted an update on this project.  Right now hardware accelerated blitter is still a work in progress. In the meantime I have written an installer and AmiUpdate script for the driver. I personally dislike software that requires manual installation, and so took the time to write the necessary scripts for installation and updates. This was done now rather than later since I knew that it would take some time to write an installer (which is something that I had not done before), and it would have been very tempting to skip it if the driver were ready for release, and no installer was written. Along with the installer and update script, a "build-release" script has also been written. Thus, making a release now simply requires running a single script.

Hardware Accelerated Mouse Pointer (a.k.a. Sprite)

The mouse pointer now uses the Radeon card's sprite hardware. The graphics card documentation calls it "Cursor," which matches the X-windows terminology. This was a fairly straightforward task, with just a few issues such as ARGB vs. RGBA pixel formats, and alpha-channel blending modes. 

Output Via DVI is Operational

Days after having my Amigaone back up and running the RadeonHD driver can now drive monitors via DVI.  Last night, a 1920x1080 @ 60 Hz screen was successfully opened by the driver (see the photo below).  This test was performed with an HIS Radeon X1550 PCI card (RV505 chipset). DVI, or Digital Visual Interface, is a monitor interfacing standard that uses digital signalling in order to achieve maximum quality. The older VGA standard used analog signals, which could degrade with long/poor cabling. 

Benq E2200HD - A full 1080 HD Monitor

Benq E2200HDMoving back to New Zealand was a good time to get a new monitor. The cost of shipping my old monitor would have been more than it was worth, and I really needed a DVI capable monitor in order to test the DVI output. After looking around at what was available at what price, the final choice was the 22 inch Benq E2200HD. The E2200HD is one of the few monitors (right now) with 1080p HD as its native resolution (i.e., 1920x1080). This means that HD videos can be viewed at full resolution without stretching or extra black bands above and below the image. More importantly (for me), it has three inputs, DVI, HDMI, and VGA. This means that I can connect my Laptop and both graphics cards in the Amigaone (A1-XE) to the monitor without needing a KVM.

My Amiga-One has Finally Arrived

Today my Amigaone finally arrived in New Zealand. The hardware survived the long trek across the entire world and I am now in the process of updating my system via AmiUpdate. I forgot to buy a mouse and will be needing a DVI to HDMI adaptor in order to connect both graphics cards' DVI output to the new monitor (I'll post more about the monitor later). Once all this is done, I will finally be able to get back to developing the RadeonHD driver for Amiga OS 4.x.

Still Waiting for my AmigaOne to Arrive

I thought that I should provide a quick update. Basically, I am now in New Zealand, but am still waiting for Canada Post to get my Amiga-one (A1-XE) to me. It has now been two months since I shipped it from Canada. Canada Post said that it would take four to six weeks to get here, so it is now well overdue. All the PCI cards, fans, etc., are sitting here waiting to be reinstalled into the A1-XE. The only thing left for me to do, is to copy this project's Trac files and SVN repository from my backup onto my newly set up development server; a task that should only take a minute or so. Now that the the hectic days of moving are well behind me, I would love to get back to working on the RadeonHD driver. All that I need is for my A1-XE to arrive. 

Stalled Software Development

I have had to take a break from developing this driver. Basically, I have completed my Ph.D., and am about to move back to New Zealand from Canada. As a consequence, my Amigaone is now somewhere on the Pacific ocean, en-route to New Zealand. With no hardware to develop on, this project has been stalled. Even if I did have hardware, I am simply too busy right now to work on it. 

Testing the Radeon X1550

HIS Radeon X1550 PCIA Radeon X1550 has been generously donated, and arrived today. One minor modification to the driver was required in order to get it to use the card. The HIS Radeon X1550 PCI card has the Hot-Plug Detect (HPD) pins swapped between the connectors. Thus, connecting a monitor (or a VGA to DVI adaptor) to the DVI port registers as a monitor connected to the  VGA port (which it thinks is a DVI port). Moreover, the VGA connector is not supposed to have an HPD pin, since this is a DVI feature. Thus, the driver skipped checking the VGA output for a connected monitor and decided that there was nothing to output an image to. A quick fix, eliminated this problem, resulting in a working card.

256 Colour and 16-bit Truecolour Modes Working in the Picasso96 RadeonHD Driver

The 256 colour (i.e., 8-bit) and 16-bit modes are now operational. In fact, they were working yesterday, but I forgot to mention it due to suspected issues with the graphics memory of the Radeon X1300 card that I have. There is no screen shot with this log entry because the difference between the 256 colour mode and truecolour is hard to notice from a photo. Obtaining a working 256 colour mode simply required writing the colour-map to the graphics card's Look Up Table (LUT). The 16-bit mode was already operational, but the Radeon X1300 hardware issues made it appear as though there was a problem (vertical lines were visible in parts of the display).

Radeon HD 2400 pro Under Picasso96 Control

A Radeon HD 2400 pro displays the Amiga screen-mode test screen.Here is a quick screen shot to show that the Picasso96 driver can also open screens on a Radeon HD 2400 pro. This is fairly unremarkable since mode setting on the 2400 pro was demonstrated previously, albeit by a test program instead of a proper driver. However, I have read at least one comment online that suggests that the Picasso96 driver can ony handle R5xx series cards. Therefore, here is proof that the same driver, without modification, can also drive an R6xx series card.

1 2 3 4 5

Projects » Amiga OS 4 Projects » RadeonHD Driver » RadeonHD Development Log