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The Open-Source ATI R500 Driver

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Last week the first open-source ATI R500 (Radeon X1000 series) driver had entered the world. This new driver (named the xf86-video-avivo) is very early into development, but a small set of developers have been working on reverse engineering this GPU class for the past couple of months. This driver does not yet contain any 3D functionality or support for features that most end-users expect. At this point, the driver just contains very basic initialization and set video mode support for a portion of the Radeon X1000 family. Even with this very basic R500 driver, we couldn't help but to explore the Avivo driver for the past few days.

For those that have missed our past articles on the R500 status in Linux, up to this point the only real solution with 3D support has been using the fglrx binary blob. However, five developers have been working on reverse engineering the fglrx driver for R500 support for the past couple of months. If you are interested in more on the ATI reverse engineering efforts and open-source drivers, see our ATI R200 Linux Driver Redux and ATI Has Open-Source Drivers Too.

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