5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2009 4:50 AM by cemp

    Open GPU documentation, why for new chips only ???

    lmike

      It is really obscure situation with documentation/specification/datasheets for the old GPUs. Could any insider describe situation or future roadmap regarding opening GPU documentation. Is it possible to open GPU 2D/3D datasheets for old R1xx and R(V)2xx GPUs ? Why AMD/ATI decided to open documentation for R3xx and above GPUs only ?

      Thank in advance !

       

        • Open GPU documentation, why for new chips only ???
          avk
          What for? These chips are very old and, perhaps, ATI/AMD thinks that no one will spend his time even for viewing their specifications. But hey, ATI/AMD, why not?
          • Open GPU documentation, why for new chips only ???
            bridgman

             

            Originally posted by: lmike It is really obscure situation with documentation/specification/datasheets for the old GPUs. Could any insider describe situation or future roadmap regarding opening GPU documentation. Is it possible to open GPU 2D/3D datasheets for old R1xx and R(V)2xx GPUs ? Why AMD/ATI decided to open documentation for R3xx and above GPUs only ?


            We focused on documenting 3d for 3xx/4xx and display/2d/3d for 5xx and above because all of the earlier parts had been documented (under NDA) back in 2001/2002.

            Most of the information from those NDA docs was transcribed into the driver source trees and that source code remains available on freedesktop.org in the xorg/driver/xf86-video-ati, mesa/drm, and mesa/mesa projects.

            We are trying to find an editable (so we can modify it for release without NDA) copy of the r200 programming guide in the hope that it might help new developers but we haven't found one yet and we're so many generations past those parts now that it might make more sense to recreate a programming guide for something more recent.

            I'm trying to avoid starting from scratch on documentation for the older chips because the information is pretty hard to find; the chips are 7 or 8 generations behind what our engineers are working on today.

            It would probably be almost as much work to prepare a package for R100/200 as it was for the latest and greatest parts, but the old chips already have very mature open source drivers so I'm not sure who would actually use the docs.

            Is there some specific gap in the current R100/R200 drivers you would like to fill ?

              • Open GPU documentation, why for new chips only ???
                cemp

                I understand that AMD-ATI guys are dealing with a huge number of old documents and they have some difficulties to prepare publishable r200 documents.

                However, even R200 is pretty old for the desktop graphics users, it still have value in embedded systems (expecially M9 variants) where graphics cards are used for long terms.

                Therefore, I believe that published r200 documents are still needed.

                I also have a feeling that even the register and programming references will be published, details of some specific 3D engine technologies (i.e smooth vision) shall not be exposed.

                  • Open GPU documentation, why for new chips only ???
                    bridgman

                    All of the documentation we have has already been included in the open source drivers. I get the feeling you are asking for information on proprietary software features (like smoothvision) more than hardware info ?

                      • Open GPU documentation, why for new chips only ???
                        cemp

                        I observed that certain features on the open source linux drivers are not implemented. For example there are no open source R200 drivers that are capable of FSAA. Also point smoothing is not implemented for R200. I could not find any documentation about those.

                        However, in Windows with the catalyst driver I can see many of the features that are missing in the open source drivers. Those features are  not documented in detail in the register documents. For example jitter table registers are listed in the register document. However, this information is not enough for using them in FSAA.

                        I was wondering if there is an R200 DDK containing sample code to initialize and use the advanced features.