Kernel Log: updated Radeon drivers, mdadm and ALSA
AMD’s kernel and X.org developer Alex Deucher has published version 6.14.0 of driver package xf86-video-ati. It contains the X.org driver for Radeon graphics hardware, which provides much better support for the latest version of Radeon graphics chips. For example, it now not only controls the graphics kernel of the Fusion processors developed under codename "Ontario", but also the Northern Islands GPUs based on Radeon HD models 62xx to 68xx. With both of them, 2D acceleration via EXA now works, as does video acceleration with the antiquated Xv (Xvideo), but in both cases the driver remains dependant on Linux kernel 2.6.38, which is still under development and is expected to be released at the end of March or beginning of April. Its DRM driver with functions for KMS (kernel-based mode-setting) is required anyway for Northern Islands GPUs because the driver does not support UMS (user mode-setting) on these chips.
In combination with KMS in kernel 2.6.36 and later, the driver also supports EXA and Xv on Evergreen GPUs on Radeon HD 5,000 series models. The developers have considerably upgraded the man page in the new version. Along with kernel 2.6.38, the driver offers page-flipping support so that image updates are more precisely synchronised with the start of frame re-draw. For further information on this new technology in Linux 2.6.38, see the first part of the series "Coming in 2.6.38".