HDMI Forum’s Decision on AMD’s Open-Source HDMI 2.1 Driver

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Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by Ashish


Today’s news sheds light on the recent ruling by the HDMI Forum regarding AMD’s endeavor to develop an open-source HDMI 2.1 driver. This decision has significant implications for Linux users, particularly in scenarios requiring high resolutions and frame rates like 4K at 120 Hz or 5K at 240 Hz.

AMD Engineer Alex Deucher’s Efforts

AMD engineer Alex Deucher, known for his contributions to open-source projects, has been at the forefront of this issue for an extended period. Despite diligent efforts to align with the HDMI Forum’s guidelines, the proposal for an open-source HDMI 2.1 implementation has been rejected, signaling the current unfeasibility of such a project without infringing upon the Forum’s regulations.

Complex Negotiations and Membership Requirements

The involvement of X.org in negotiations with the HDMI Forum underscores the intricate nature of this situation. Membership in the HDMI Forum necessitates a minimum fee of $15,000, and while AMD holds membership status, it does not automatically grant them authorization to release a public implementation of a specification.

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Implications and Strategic Decisions for AMD

This development accentuates the significance of DisplayPort as a viable alternative for Linux users seeking optimal output quality. It also presents AMD with a strategic decision: either integrate newer HDMI support into closed-source Linux drivers or guide their most demanding users towards alternative solutions.

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