Kernel Log: New video drivers for AMD, Intel, Nvidia and VIA hardware
The monthly release of AMD's Catalyst Linux drivers reaches Version 8.8 and, after previous versions had hardly anything new, there's now an abundance of new features in the 8.52 fglrx driver. The new driver supports the CrossFireX configurations on the ATI Radeon 4800, and overclockers can now make use of Overdrive for extracting more power out of their graphics hardware. Adaptive Anti-aliasing support has been enabled to improve image quality and ATI Multiview has been incorporated to support multiple displays on systems with a range of FireGL cards.
Fedora 9 and beta versions of some distributions including X.org 7.4, X Server 1.5 and AMD's proprietary driver are not compatible with them, but there are two ready alternatives in the open source radeon and radeonhd drivers. Although some of the fglrx driver functions are not supported, these open source drivers should satisfy some users.
Nvidia released beta versions of their proprietary Linux driver for GeForce cards, version 177.67 for x86-32 and x86-64. Shortly after this, a 177.68 driver for x86-32 and x86-64 appeared on the Nvidia FTP site. In the semi-official NVzone forum, an Nvidia employee said that the 177.67 driver should address 2D performance problems, which have been especially noticeable when using Firefox 3 and KDE 4, but added that some of the improvements depended on new/experimental features which were not enabled by default and pointed interested users at a tweaking guide for those features.
The X.org project developers published some new graphics drivers. Version 2.4.1 of the graphics driver for Intel chipsets provides minor bug fixes and improvements. Parallel to this, the developers of the next generation driver for Intel chipsets reported some progress. Other news came from the open chrome project whose developer published version 0.2.903 of the driver with support for newer VIA graphic chipsets, while the developers of drivers for the graphics core of the AMD Geode released a new version.
The Mesa developers published Mesa 7.0.4 and Mesa 7.1rc4. In the announcement, Brian Paul said he hopes to have 7.1 published soon. X developers are waiting on this release as parts of X.org 7.4 are already dependant on the new Mesa 7.1, which is why the next X.org version will only be released after Mesa 7.1.
- The Alsa developers published version 1.0.18rc1 of their kernel sound driver. The changelog lists all the updates. The kernel developers usually revise audio drivers at the start of the next development cycle in the main developement branch, so this driver should eventually appear in Kernel version 2.6.28.
Further background and information about developments in the Linux kernel and its environment can also be found in previous issues of the kernel log at heise open:
- Kernel Log: Kernel development explained, new Synaptics driver, Linux 2.6.27-rc3 published
- Kernel Log: Ath9k driver for Atheros Wifi in 2.6.27; reading material and videos for Linux experts
- Kernel Log: Btrfs 0.16 released, new stable kernels released, Wifi drivers for 2.6.27 merged
- Kernel Log: New Stable kernel, DRI2 postponed, Xgl removed from X.org
- Kernel Log: New Nvidia drivers are still slow, Linux 126.96.36.199 soon
- Kernel Log: Tux3 file system announced, X.org updates