ATI to Release Open Source Drivers for Linux

ATI Technologies Inc. today said it will release more programming specifications for its Rage line of graphics chips, a move designed to encourage Linux developers to create more drivers that can be used with the operating system.

ATI supplies graphics components and multimedia technology for PCs, set-top boxes and other consumer electronics devices. The graphics chip maker, which already supports open source drivers for its two-dimensional products, is seeking to expand support for 3D and multimedia products by releasing development information relating to its 3D and multimedia Rage Pro and Rage 128 graphics chips, the company said in a statement today.

A device driver allows the operating system to recognize peripherals including modems, external drives and many other peripherals to a PC. Linux users and developers frequently end up writing their own drivers because hardware companies have been slow to adopt the operating system. When a developer does create a driver for a new device, he then releases it back into the open-source software community, allowing others to use and improve it.

ATI said it will also release video capture information and TV-tuner development information for the Rage II, Rage Pro and Rage 128 product families, allowing Linux developers to take advantage of those capabilities as well, according to a statement.

In its quest to become "the graphics company of choice among Linux users," ATI has contracted development company Precision Insight Inc. to develop 2D and 3D open source drivers for the Rage 128. The source code is expected to be freely available in the second quarter of next year.

ATI, in Thornhill, Ontario, can be reached at +1 905 882 2600, or on the Web at http://www.ati.com/.

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