The first open source driver for the AMD/ATI R500 video cards has been released. The cards that are now supported by this driver are the Radeon X1300 to X1600. However, the drivers are not yet ready for general use.
Over the past couple of months, a small group of people has been working
on reverse engineering the r500-based AMD video cards. Everyone involved
worked on this in whatever free time they had, which is why this has
taken so long.
The code released today is able to initialise and set video modes on
rv515 and rv530 (X1300 up to X1600); we still lack proper initialisation
for r520 & r580 (X1800 and above, some X1600) because of lack of time
These drivers had to be reverse-engineered because of ATI’s refusal to release specifications.
I would like to take advantage of this announcement to stress that
AMD hurt its consumers by not providing specifications of their
hardware to the open source community which end up in providing
a bad experience to them.