The graphics chips maker has traditionally demonstrated a poor performance in allowing open source drivers.
Dell for instance, made a conscious decision to use Nvidia graphics cards in its Linux PCs because of ATI's lacking open source support and the poor performance of the drivers that were available.
ATI will now develop fully functional 2D and 3D drivers for Linux. Although the drivers are still closed source, the firm will release documentation that allows third-party developers to build and support their own drivers.
The drivers and documentation will be released for ATI's Radeon HT2000 chipset and Radeon X1000 graphics processors and newer lines.
AMD revealed its plans to create the open source drivers on Wednesday. The release of the documentation was discussed at the Kernel Summit that took place in Cambridge this week.
A company spokesperson told www.vnunet.com that AMD plans to send out additional details in "the next couple of days".
Christopher Blizzard, a systems engineer at Red Hat, and a board member for the Mozilla Foundation, wrote on his blog: "It is the release of documentation that is most interesting and telling about the commitment.
"These guys are clearly doing the right thing and are going even further than Intel in their support of open source.
"It is not just about having the drivers; it is about having the ability to work independently of the company in your development and decision making.
"Docs make that possible and are a great symptom of the way that they are thinking about how to interact with the open source community."
AMD opens door to ATI Linux drivers
By Tom Sanders on Sep 10, 2007 9:52AM