AMD offers Linux drivers for new Radeon HD 4870 X2

Programmable GPUs mean proprietary drivers

Despite an often tenuous relationship with the Linux community regarding the driver quality for its graphics products, the AMD-owned ATI will offer release parity with Windows for its latest Radeon HD 4870 X2 card.

AMD's graphics products PR manager Dave Erskine said the company will have Linux support for the HD 4870 X2 when it is released this week, and that it is committed to monthly updates of its Linux drivers alongside the monthly Windows driver updates.

"The Linux community remains an important audience for us," Erskine said, adding AMD has worked hard to deliver "out of the gate" Linux drivers for new graphics products.

During the Sydney launch of the HD 4870 X2, AMD's director of marketing for platform technologies, Godfrey Cheng, said there is still a lot of IP within the proprietary drivers, especially in relation to the programmable GPU.

"There were a lot of fixed functions [in drivers], but now there is a lot of IP in there," Cheng said.

AMD's graphics product development is attempting to lead an "industry inflexion point" dubbed "Cinema 2.0" where games are becoming more interactive and the divide between film and game technology is narrowing.

The new Radeon HD 4870 X2 is being touted as "the world's fastest graphics card" by AMD by delivering 2.4 teraflops of processing power.

The card sells for $US549.

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