|ATI/AMD doesn't have the best of reputations when it comes to supporting the open source community. Even though much have changed over the last year, there is still much left to do for the graphics chip giant. Documentation covering the most recent GPUs have been released in segments starting with the RV630 and M56 (IGP) in September last year, followed by RS690 and M76 last month. The last piece of open-source documentation covers the R300/R400/R500 series, but mainly focuses on the latter of the three, but also speaks of 3D.
Phoronix has been following AMD's advancements closely and has the story on how AMD has been sanitizing the code</U> of its GPU testing suite, tcore. It's been used to test cards prior to release and should soon become available to the public.
"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."
Possibly, the foundation of the new OpenGl driver (8.41) released last Autumn will become open source. The 300 page document covering R500 and its predecessors should be available immediately.
AMD also revealed that R200, RV620 and RV635 documentation is in the near future. R600 3D information is on the horizon, but it's a bit more complex than previous GPUs and will require a bit more work before release. Better power management, thermal sensor readings and possibly fan control are all on the way.
This includes the PowerPlay functionality found with Radeon HD 3000 series GPUs. Documentation covering the upcoming RS780 chipset from AMD should be available shortly after the launch. GPGPU is coming to Linux too, but when it a bit uncertain. Ultimately, AMD is aiming to have one Linux driver, and not three, for its GPUs. All in a matter of time.
Last but certainly not least, it seems like some sort of CrossFire is coming to Linux</U>. All in all, we're really looking forward to AMD's work on its open source support and hope that things continue as well as they have been up till now.