Projects » Amiga OS 4 Projects » RadeonHD Driver » RadeonHD Development Log » RadeonHD 5000 and 6000 Support

RadeonHD 5000 and 6000 Support

The news is already all over the AmigaOS community; with funding from A-Eon Technology, I'm pleased to deliver 2D support for Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 series cards. Support for the Radeon HD 7000 series is also in the works. This is probably the biggest milestone yet in the RadeonHD driver project.

A few months ago I got an email from Trevor (A-Eon Technology) letting me know that supply of Radeon HD 4000 series cards was getting so scarce that supply could no longer be guaranteed. This made adding support for newer series urgent, and so an agreement was made in order to deliver this As Soon As Possible (ASAP). I was initially disappointed when supply of Radeon HD 4000 series became scarce but now I'm proud of what has been achieved. The RadeonHD driver once again supports some of the latest cards available.

As part of the agreement, A-Eon Technology has gained exclusive distribution rights for the AmigaOS 4 driver. A1-X1000 customers, who have already paid for a license to the upcoming AmigaOS 4.2 update will receive these updates automatically. Sam460ex customers wanting to upgrade their driver so that they can use newer cards can purchase a license online.

I know that paying for drivers will be unpopular with some people, as everyone is used to getting drivers for free. Indeed, I gave this some thought before entering into agreements, as i have received donations to support the driver early on. However, I firmly believe that all those who donated, want to see the RadeonHD driver completed and available ASAP. Unfortunately, while the donations helped with motivation and the purchase of equipment, it was like a drop in the ocean next to the true development cost (measured in how much you'd have to pay a full-time developer). This meant that the driver remained a hobby project, and captive to my ever shrinking "spare time." ACube supported the project as much as they could, and that did help with a few bursts of accelerated development. Nevertheless, that alone couldn't deliver the results that everyone would like. The driver development continued slowly, and the supported cards that were once brand new, were eventually no longer available. All along, the AmigaOS community continued waiting as patiently as possible. Pace was too slow for you, the community, and too slow for me. The project urgently needed me to work on it for more days per week, but that was just not possible. This was as true a year ago as it was now. We need to regain some momentum, and a donation funded effort was never going to deliver the results that we all want.

To make matters even more difficult, my own personal situation has changed. I have gone from a university student, to an entrepreneur who is working very hard to start and build a company. This is a major undertaking that is still very much a work-in progress. I was seriously considering having to make the very uncomfortable and disappointing decision to temporarily put the whole RadeonHD driver project on ice, so that I could focus all of my energies on my company. Needless to say, this would not have been good. All AmigaOS 4.x enthusiasts including myself want AmigaOS 4.2 with full OpenGL support ASAP; it's what we've been waiting for.

So, we have a driver that urgently needs some accelerated development, and ever shrinking spare time to work on it. With major OSes, those "free drivers" are actually paid for by the millions of graphics card purchasers, who fund the manufacturer's own driver development costs. If you purchased a Radeon HD card for your Amiga, you too, paid for Windows, Mac, and Linux drivers, even though you're probably not using them.

Enter the agreements with A-Eon Technology. These provided funding far beyond what donations or a small bounty ever could. It allowed me to work on the driver several days per week, making real progress. The unavailability of the Radeon HD 4000 series was an added complication and expense, but one that has been overcome. This meant real progress, and support for currently available now instead of in a year's time at the earliest.

A-Eon Technology naturally needs to recoup their costs, and hence the driver is available for a fee to AmigaOS 4.1 owners. Those with an AmigaOS 4.2 license (i.e., A1-X1000 owners) naturally have already paid for their updates. From my perspective, this was and is the best way forward. In fact, it was pretty much the only way to get the driver finished in an acceptable time-frame. It provided the RadeonHD driver project with a much needed shot in the arm, real progress, real momentum, and most importantly, better drivers for current cards much sooner.

What has been achieved so far is definitely an achievement, and a huge milestone. I sincerely hope that we can build upon this momentum. Please continue to support all of the AmigaOS 4.x developers and companies involved. We are all hard at work to deliver the best AmigaOS possible.

Roll on AmigaOS 4.2!

Projects » Amiga OS 4 Projects » RadeonHD Driver » RadeonHD Development Log » RadeonHD 5000 and 6000 Support

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  • Wow - big step forward!

    You must be pleased to receive the extra funding. It helps validate your excellent work.

    Posted by gregthecanuck, 29/06/2012 6:20pm (9 years ago)

  • Thanks you for all the hard work to create these drivers and thanks to A-Eon for funding the effort!

    Posted by Bill Borsari, 25/06/2012 10:17am (9 years ago)

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Projects » Amiga OS 4 Projects » RadeonHD Driver » RadeonHD Development Log » RadeonHD 5000 and 6000 Support