Warp3D and Libre Office updates

Cardiff, 30th December 2012

Warp3D driver status update

We had planned to release the Warp3D driver before the year end but circumstance beyond our control has caused some unforeseen delays. However, we are pleased to supply Hans-Jörg Frieden latest progress report:-

"The Warp3D framework is up and running. The biggest issue was interfacing the vertex and pixel shaders. The vertex shader needs to do some processing to get from what Warp3D delivers to an internal format that can be used by the chip, but doing this in the vertex shader frees CPU cycles and allows the CPU to just basically copy data into video memory. The big part was the pixel shader compiler. It is around 2000 lines of code and required a lot of fine tuning, fiddling and experimenting to get to work. The whole process is much more complex than the compositing, and needs to handle a lot of different cases and overlapping shader instructions since only some of the blend operations can be done in a single shader instruction, and having different sized alpha and colour instructions might require special care. The DrawArray drawing call is implemented and the other drawing calls should be easy to add since they are mostly just variations of that.

There are two blocks of code still missing:-

Number one is texture management. However, that can be lifted straight from the R200 driver. Some additional optimizations may be added to this later, since there are some tricks that can be used to improve parallelism between GPU and CPU, but that might not be needed since it is expected this to be pretty fast anyway. Number two is the depth/stencil buffer. This should not be a major issue, since it is basically a chunk of video memory with a bit of special stuff. Some functions have already been written for that but require testing."

Hans de Ruiter, the developer of the 2D Radeon HD drivers for AmigaOS 4 commented, “That's pretty good news. The hardest part is done and it sounds like he is close to delivering a fully working driver. Getting the shader compiler working must have been quite a mission. The Radeon HD 2xxx-6xxx GPU has weird instruction ordering rules and a rather complicated instruction format. Plus the slightest mistake causes the GPU to lock up.” The current estimate to completion of Warp3D depends on a number of factors including Hans-Jörg's other AmigaOS 4 work commitments.

Libre Office Status Update

Thomas Frieden, the developer porting Libre Office to AmigaOS 4, has also has made excellent progress. Although Libre Office is planned as a long term project, Thomas has already ported approximate 75% of the code. Once this process is finished the next stage is to build the first binarys.

About the Developers

The Frieden brothers, Hans-Jörg and Thomas, are independent software developers and core developers of AmigaOS 4 under contract to Hyperion Entertainment cvba.

Happy New Year to all Amigans, everywhere, whatever your creed, OS colour or Amiga preference.

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