The info provided in the document is not enough by itself and although they are for the newer chipsets i wonder how much the addressing is changed for the 2D registers e.g. between 5 and 6 the 2D register addresses are the same. I do not have comparison to say they are the same in the 2 series for efika. But i wonder how much they have changed. Also ati/amd seem to have promised to release more info.
Maybe genesi can ask for documentation on the 2 series (r200/r280) now info for newer models is released.
ATI/AMD don't even support those cards with the Linux driver (never have..) and dropped Windows support for them in Catalyst in 2005.
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=a ... =743&num=1
One of the problems with the missing things they talk about in this article is that some of the features are covered by patents; and quite possibly these patents are NOT licensable by ATI to the Open Source community. Implementing support for them in software may in fact be part of the patent along with any hardware methods.
The easiest two that apply here are TV-out support - every commercialised ATI card has Macrovision enabled, and to 'support' Macrovision even in a commercial driver by a 3rd party driver provider, requires a license from Macrovision. Genesi has had to deal with this issue before.
The other one is MPEG support. Using MPEG-2 requires a license from the MPEG-LA. Genesi has this license.
While both examples would probably not incur AMD/ATI any issues, if any patent holder or software licensor decides that the open source driver infringes, and the documentation to implement it came from them, then AMD/ATI may be liable for it as much as the software developer who wrote the code. In this sense they are being kind to Linux and X.org - by not giving them the docs, they protect them from being sued by evil corporations like Macrovision or perhaps one of the more unscrupulous patentsitting companies (remember the "JPEG patent" fiasco? Or even SCO vs. IBM..)
As an ATI-Certified ISV Genesi is actually in a good position to request documentation from them to improve our product support. I wonder actually how much documentation we could get. This is something to look into; however from OUR point of view, it is quite pointless. We no longer support ATI cards because they are practically unavailable in stores these days. We have discussed this with large OEMs (PowerColor, Asus, etc.) and their stock of compatible 3.3V AGP cards is either zero or near approaching it.
So, there is nothing exciting for Power or Genesi in the release of these documentation and specifications. The Open Source drivers for r200 both 2D and 3D are already fairly comprehensive and up to par with Windows and other operating systems where relevant benchmarks can be performed. A few missing features for cards you cannot buy, does not matter.
Matt Sealey, Genesi USA Inc.
Product Development Analyst