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AMD move brings open source gaming closer

Thanks to some determined AMD engineers the company was able to release open source Linux code for its GPU series of graphics accelerators.

AMD logo
In writing about the open source rollup yesterday I added the gaming market almost as an afterthought.

The problem has always been that the graphics drivers needed for really high-end gaming just were not available through open source.

Yesterday AMD tore down that wall.

Thanks to some determined AMD engineers the company was able to release open source Linux code for its GPU series of graphics accelerators.

Nvidia is still holding out, but with open source AMD code available it may start feeling the pressure soon.

Developers need more, but these moves could bring AMD's ATI subsidiary market share in more than gaming systems. High-end CAD and medical markets can now have "clean" Linux implementations free of proprietary restraints.

Linux netbooks may also get a boost if they're encouraged by game designers to put ATI chips into their specifications.

I admit my first thought on hearing this was, "Oh, another market flailure tosses open source code over the side." (Yes, the first l in flailure is intentional. They haven't failed yet, but they are flailing.)

That's not entirely true. In graphics AMD is quite competitive. Now, in 2009, it will be more so.

We hope.