AMD Posts Code for Linux GPU Driver

Apr 22, 2015

New release marks the arrival of AMD’s unified driver strategy.

AMD has released the source code for the new unified AMDGPU driver. The new release is an important step in the company’s unified driver strategy. In the past, Linux users had to choose between the open source AMD Radeon graphics driver and the closed-source AMD Catalyst driver. The new unified strategy builds the open AMDGPU kernel driver into both variants. Rather than inhabiting the kernel directly, the Catalyst driver will become a binary blog in userspace, interacting with the system through the open source AMDGPU driver.

This change might seem subtle and technical, but it has important implications for development and licensing. If the closed-source Catalyst driver does not have to be part of kernel space, it will be easier to include it with Linux distributions. Also, the new kernel driver can become a closer part of the mainstream Linux kernel development process. See the Phoronix site for extended coverage of AMD’s new Linux driver strategy.

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