This Is What Started AMD's Open-Source Strategy
While AMD's open-source strategy was announced on Phoronix on 7 September 2007, it was on 17 September of the same year that the Novell/SUSE developers did their first public release of their xf86-video-radeonhd driver. This was the X.Org driver created by the Novell Linux engineers in months prior for R500 and R600 GPUs. Here is some special reading -- a letter that was volleyed from Novell to AMD that kicked off this entire process -- to celebrate what would have been the fourth birthday of this open-source Linux driver.
The xf86-video-radeonhd project was the first X.Org driver to provide open-source R600 (Radeon HD 2000) series support, and for the R500 (Radeon X1000) series too, aside from the short-lived xf86-video-avivo driver that was created the summer prior via reverse-engineering but only supported a limited selection of R500 ASICs. This initial RadeonHD driver was written using documentation that AMD supplied to Novell and ended up releasing publicly that September.