AMD announces open source initiative GPUOpen

In today's open source roundup: AMD takes a strong stand for open source. Plus: Online search in Unity 7 disabled in Ubuntu 16.04. And 13 facts about Linux that might surprise you

AMD announces open source initiative GPUOpen

AMD is making some big waves in the world of open source with its GPUOpen initiative. The company is pulling out all the stops to make it easier for developers to create games and applications via greater access to the GPU and its resources.

Marco Chiappetta reports for Hot Hardware:

In a nutshell, AMD is releasing a slew of open-source software and tools to give developers of games, heterogeneous applications, and HPC applications deeper access to the GPU and GPU resources.

Let’s discuss gaming first. AMD and the RTG are looking for ways to ease game development, so games for PCs and consoles can be produced in a similar manner. To quote AMD, “As a continuation of the strategy we started with Mantle, we are giving even more control of the GPU to developers. As console developers have benefited from low-level access to the GPU, AMD wants to continue to bring this level of access to the PC space.”

The AMD GPUOpen initiative is meant to give developers the ability to more easily leverage assets they've already made for console development. With GPUOpen, game developers will have direct access to GPU hardware, as well as access to a large collection of open source effects, tools, libraries and SDKs, which are being made available on GitHub under an MIT open-source license, which essentially gives users unrestricted access to the software.

AMD hopes that GPUOpen will enable console-style development for PC games through this open source software initiative. But the company doesn’t stop there. GPUOpen also includes an end-to-end open source compute infrastructure for cluster-based computing and a new Linux software and driver strategy

More at Hot Hardware

AMD's open source efforts caught the attention of Linux redditors and they shared their thoughts:

Syl0s: ”I'm really interested to see how this plays out for them. With open-sourcing Mantle, they created Vulkan and that has the potential of becoming the industry standard. If that happens, then a significant advantage of Nvidia - their drivers - is made essentially worthless. So, they might turn around the entire GPU market just by open-sourcing their software.”

Techsuppor0t: ”I'm excited for the RISC-V open cpus that will soon come.”

Natermer: ”...AMD is mentioning consoles. Consoles require cheap hardware because people don't like spending a thousand dollars or more with dedicated graphics card just to play games on their TV. They also do not like dealing with the hassles imposed on them by traditional operating systems when all they are interested in is playing video games or watching movies or whatever. They don't like dealing with driver issues or screwing around with configuring everything. Consoles require cheaper, faster hardware with specialized operating systems dedicated to making things like games/tv/movies/music as easy for the user as possible.”

Dsigned001: ”If this is legit, it would be huge.”

MeanEYE: ”Well, that's one way of upsetting the balance in current market.”

Icanpunch: ”As long as nvidia cards keep blowing AMD out of the water then they aren't going to upset anything.”

MeanEYE: ”If AMD follows through this push to open source of theirs we the users will benefit the most. Open source drivers for good hardware, new good API, competitive edge (once you get rid of those pet-game optimizations Windows games loose their edge). So interesting times await us. I applaud AMD for their strategy.”

Yumpancakes: ”I'm sure this will can be great for game developers, but I think this will be huge in supercomputing and research to have this type of control over the gpu.”

Lukejr: ”Reading the actual article, it seems this is only making the closed source driver (which remains closed) less closed, and only to the extent that makes it easier for people to use the closed driver. No practical changes for the free driver. Net negative IMO, since this just encourages more people to switch to the closed driver. :(”

Ivosaurus: ”They're making a newer, official platform for the open driver. So rather than FOSS developers having to implement the entire driver stack themselves, they get the kernel side for free, and it's out of the OEM mouth rather than reverse engineered.”

More at Reddit

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