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AMD Releases 3D Programming Documentation E-mail
Written by Phoronix   
Saturday, 23 February 2008

For the past several weeks we have been referencing AMD's "tcore" in several of our articles, which is a user-space software suite that has been developed and used internally at ATI by engineers to work on various aspects of their binary drivers. Tcore is primarily used for testing prior to the availability of the actual silicon for their forthcoming graphics processors. John Bridgman and Alex Deucher have been working tediously to get this tcore source-code sanitized and cleared for public release, and finally they have reached this milestone. AMD has just published the first bits of open-source 3D programming documentation for ATI GPUs. This 3D programming documentation covers the R500 series and even goes back with information on the R300/400 series as well. The R600 3D programming guide will also be out soon. This information available today is what will foster the growth of open-source R500/600 3D support for the Radeon and RadeonHD drivers as well as R600 2D acceleration.

We've shared in earlier articles that AMD's plans for enabling open-source 3D support would come in the way of sample source-code that would allow developers to better understand the 3D engine, as opposed to just releasing 3D documentation. However, those plans have changed slightly. Due to the modularization of tcore and tgl (the OpenGL component), more weight is now being placed into the 3D documentation so that developers can better understand the design of the 3D engine. This guide not only covers the R500 series, but contains information going back into the R300 series. This R300 information will help in filling some of the unknowns and areas once reverse-engineered. Particularly there should be stability improvements as well as performance improvements, if enough time is spent tuning the driver. Information covering the 3D side of the R600 series is still being worked on but is expected in about one month. Phoronix


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