The Radeon R9 285 "Tonga" graphics card is the first GCN 1.2 GPU and was launched last month. Right now I happen to be working on a Linux review of the R9 285 with Catalyst. It turns out though that there isn't open-source driver support for the R9 285 in the current open-source Radeon driver. Rather, AMD is using this GCN 1.2 GPU as the starting point for the new AMDGPU Linux driver stack.
PhysX has been around for many years on the Windows platform and it's been a coveted feature. There was no practical interest from the NVIDIA devs to make it compatible with Linux as long as there were no applications or games to take advantage of it.
With the launch of Steam for Linux, things have changed quite a bit. The OpenGL development has a slightly better development pace, more than 700 games are now available on Steam for Linux, and NVIDIA's drivers for this platform have improved quite a lot. It was just a matter of time until all of the NVIDIA's technologies eventually landed in the open source architecture.
KWin/Wayland 5.1 gained support for the fullscreen shell interface. My idea when adding this was to not have to implement DRM support in KWin, but (for the time being) leverage Weston. This simplifies development and allows us to move forward on a higher speed. Jason Ekstrand’s talk showed that the fullscreen shell provides more interesting aspects than our use case. The shell can also be used for use cases such as screen sharing: a compositor renders in addition to a fullscreen shell provided by a different compositor which can use it to e.g. capture a video stream or forward an rdp session. Very interesting and quite useful that we already support it and won’t have to add additional support for rdp into each compositor.
The new OpenGL ABI does have the interest of other graphics driver developers and also the community as its main benefit is that it can allow for multiple GPU drivers to co-exist on the same system without running into any collisions over the OpenGL libraries, etc. The new ABI is also to promote EGL over GLX and allow multiple drivers to even exist for the same process. This is the first major OpenGL ABI update in more than ten years.
NVIDIA continues to develop the vendor-neutral OpenGL library for this new ABI as libglvnd on GitHub. "This is a work-in-progress implementation of the vendor-neutral dispatch layer for arbitrating OpenGL API calls between multiple vendors on a per-screen basis, as described by Andy Ritger's OpenGL ABI proposal."
The latest Linux graphics benchmarks I ran from the high-end Maxwell GeForce GTX 980 graphics card were some anti-aliasing tests.
As explained in my NVIDIA GTX 980 Linux review, while this new graphics card introduces Multi-Frame Anti-Aliasing (MFAA) and other new features designed to improve the visual quality for games, the new AA capabilities aren't exposed by NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver. The only anti-aliasing modes offered by the NVIDIA Linux driver's nvidia-settings utility for the GTX 980 is 2xMS, 4xMS, 4xSS + 2xMS, 8xMS, and 4xSS + 4xMS. Just the multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) and super-sampling anti-aliasing (SSAA) that have long been supported by the NVIDIA blob. There's also the toggle for FXAA.
As anticipated, Andy Ritger of NVIDIA presented at XDC2014 in Bordeaux, France the company's plans to support alternative window managers beyond X11 when it comes to their Linux graphics driver. NVIDIA is working on some significant improvements to their closed-source Linux driver to support Mir and Wayland.
Student developer Roy Spliet presented at XDC2014 Bordeaux this week about his X.Org Foundation funded work on improving GPU re-clocking for the open-source Nouveau (NVIDIA) Linux graphics driver. For NVA3/NVA5/NVA8 hardware owners, the reverse-engineered driver will soon start offering better performance with the GPU core and memory frequencies finally able to hit their rated targets.
Roy Spliet has been tackling re-clocking for a number of months as one of the few developers involved in this task of allowing the NVIDIA GPUs to re-clock to their rated core and memory frequencies rather than being stuck to whatever lower clock frequencies they were programmed to by the video BIOS at boot time.
The Linux 3.18 kernel will bring support for reading the core temperature of AMD's forthcoming "Carrizo" APUs.
New ARM platform coverage with this next major Linux kernel series include support for the SAMA5D4, BCM63XX family of DSL SOCs, the HiP04 server-class SoC, Amlogic Meson6 (8726MX) platform support, and support for the R-Car E2 r8a7794 SoC. The Atmel SAMA5D4 is an ARM Cortex-A5 based design, the BCM63XX has been known to OpenWRT fans, the Hisilicon HiP04 was enabled by the Linaro crew, and the r8a7794 is an automotive-geared SoC.
If you go back more than seven years ago, lots of people took easy aim at the state of ATI/AMD's Linux graphics drivers. Back then, they didn't even have an open-source strategy... How times have changed.
I am not a power user of Linux or any of the various distros but I believe something very big happened today. AMD has unveiled what they are calling the “AMDGPU” Kernel Driver; something that will form the base of Closed Source (Catalyst) and Open Source (e.g. Gallium3D) drivers in Linux. This appears to be a pretty big step judging from the amount of appreciation it is receiving from the linux community.