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[News] Details on ATI Radeon support in OS4ANN.lu
Posted on 16-Jan-2002 16:48 GMT by Teemu I. Yliselš61 comments
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Bill Toner talked about issues regarding the support of ATI Radeon chipsets in AmigaOS4 on the AmigaOne mailing list. Read the message below.

ATI Radeon support will happen, but I'm not sure when it will be completed. Permedia 3 support has been announced as well. This will initially support the original Radeon chipset, RV100 that has been around a while, and will at some point support the newer Radeon chip, the RV200 as well. My business partner and I are the "other party" Hyperion mentioned in their OS4/Radeon/Permedia3 announcement a while ago for the Radeon part. We hope to have something usable soon, but it certainly won't be done by their announced OS4 release date in Feb. But it will most definitely be done for OS4.x, and I have had an AmigaOne on preorder as well for some time... Prometheus will be the first bridge supported, as that'a all that I have right now. We do intend to support Mediator if we can, but Elbox's sense of PR has kept me disgruntled with them and I have not signed/returned their NDA form yet, so we can't yet support Mediator but I'll do it soon, plus Mediator 1200 models at least will be more work due to their small memory window access point. Especially since some boards apparently work with 8MB window setting and some other older boards only work well with the smaller 4MB window setting. Elbox PR said something about the trashed graphics in 8MB mode were some hardware dongle feature or something like that, but I find that hard to swallow... But we'll work it out at some point and find a Mediator owner to test it with. When I originally contacted DCE about supporting Grex a year ago or so now, I still have yet to receive any response at all from them. So I'm not sure they wanted Radeon drivers for their card which I thought was odd, but oh well. Perhaps I should try them again... AmigaOne will also be supported via the AGP slot. Regarding Pegasos, my NDA with ATI does not have "Morphos" written on it anywhere. But I got this NDA back before I knew of the Pegasos project at all and I run AmigaOS on my Amigas, not anything else, so Morphos at the time didn't have much meaning to my machines as none of them even have PPC cards. AmigaOS 3.9 and AmigaOne/AmigaOS 4.x will be what we target while we consider if the effort in renegotiating the NDA is worth the returns from MorphOS users.

But please, don't run out and buy a Radeon card just yet. We may dongle-ize our drivers to some tag we set in Radeon cards we sell, in an effort to reduce P96 piracy. Elbox screwed the P96 guys, as not all Mediator users will pay the P96 "shareware fee" Elbox talked about. We are going to include fully licensed P96 (and possibly warp3d if they don't have licenses already with all PCI bridge companies) with Radeons we sell to guarantee both P96 team, warp3d team, †and my company get return on our work. I don't intend to trash talk anyone, but piracy is a fact of life. We intend to circumvent that a bit, in the same way that PicassoIV did. PC store-bought Radeons may not work, just a warning.

As for the porting of Mediator/Grex drivers to OS4.x, I wonder how this will be done. Surely if OS4 runs on Elbox's SharkPPC they will port Mediator drivers to that OS4 implementation, but I'm not sure they'll let their drivers work on hardware other than Mediator+SharkPPC. DCE may not have Grex drivers work under OS4 on hardware other than Grex. Hopefully they will support more bridges/motherboards, especially Elbox since they charge extra for their driver CDROM for Mediator anyway. We'll have to wait and see, but I'm not getting any hopes up. We'll be supporting any PCI bridge we can with Radeon drivers.

--
Bill Toner
Forefront Technologies, Inc. (previously Progressive Data Systems)
bill@prodatasys.com

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