The big news in the Linux world this week seems to be that graphic card manufacturer ATi is to open source the drivers and specs for it’s cards in the near future. According to Linux.com they heard the news first hand from AMD (the parent company to ATi) that the project will be officially announced to the world on Monday September 10th.
This is big news for many Linux users as finding decent drivers for ATi cards has been a source of frustration for quite some time to many people. I personally use an Nvidia card in my machine and it seems that support for Nvidia in the open source world has traditionally been far better. Hopefully this initiative can go some way to restoring the balance and providing healthy competition but only time will tell. By all accounts ATi and AMD are not fairing well at the moment with AMD taking big hits in the CPU market at the hands of arch rivals Intel. I don’t really know enough about this subject to comment on the validity of those rumours but it’s an interesting move to open source the drivers now and a very welcome one for penguin fans around the world.
Many laptop and desktop machines come with ATi cards inbuilt and this means there should be a large market for whatever developers can produce with the new open source code. The success or failure of this venture relies largely on the enthusiasm of the developer community but I don’t think that will be a problem. Of course it still remains to be seen what is actually announced tomorrow but it’s an exciting time for Linux users with ATi cards I think.