AMD just had its proposition for a new open source HDMI driver rejected

HDMI in laptop
(Image credit: Future)

In a disappointing turn of events for the open source community, AMD’s efforts to implement HDMI 2.1+ functionality on its Linux graphics driver have been reflected.

AMD’s efforts had been an effort to improve previous iterations by addressing problems relating to high-definition, high-refresh rate qualities, such as 4K 120Hz and 5K 240Hz.

It’s stated that the problem lies in the HDMI Forum’s decision to close public specification access, which hinders open-source support. AMD and X.Org’s attempts to collaborate with the HDMI Forum have been unsuccessful.

AMD HDMI 2.1+ driver hits a roadblock

AMD Linux engineers have reportedly worked for months in order to expose HDMI features to their open-source driver, however the HDMI Forum’s rejection of AMD’s proposal has left the open-source GPU drivers without a solution for fully enabling HDMI 2.1+ features.

Alex Deucher, an AMD Linux engineer, confirmed the news on a forum: “The HDMI Forum has rejected our proposal unfortunately.  At this time an open source HDMI 2.1 implementation is not possible without running afoul of the HDMI Forum requirements.”

Deucher’s comment was met with a number of emoji reactions, including crying, sad and angry emojis, as well as other comments from users and fellow open-source community members expressing their disappointment. 

The HDMI Forum’s decision is not only disappointing for current users, but raises questions about the future of open-source support for HDMI. AMD is even recommending that open-source Linux users consider using DisplayPort for the best experience.

The next stages are as yet unknown, but it’s possible that the solution may involve some closed-source firmware or other protected elements, compromising the benefits and entire ethos of open source.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!