AMD's graphics division has announced an initiative to release its drivers and developer tools under open source licences, dubbed GPUOpen, in an attempt to better compete with Nvidia's GameWorks programme.
With a minority of the discrete graphics processor market, there's no surprise that AMD struggles to encourage game developers to implement its technologies. Many still focus first on rival Nvidia and its GameWorks platform, which is the majority market share holder, and work on tweaking for AMD GPUs later - if at all - despite the company's strong presence in games consoles.
With the company struggling financially, that's something AMD needs to change. Its solution: GPUOpen, a new initiative to release its drivers and technologies under an open source licence, in order to encourage wider adoption. As well as the company's AMDGPU open source driver programme, released publicly for Linux users earlier this year, GPUOpen will feature the most popular of AMD's various development kits and tools including the TressFX hair simulation engine, LiquidVR virtual reality libraries, and its library of DirectX code samples.
While all of these have been publicly available previously, AMD's GPUOpen initiative relicenses them under the permissive MIT Licence - meaning developers can access the source code behind each tool, modify it as they see fit, and either contribute those modifications back into the parent project to improve its quality for all or keep them private and use them to boost the quality of their own projects.
The company has announced that it will be uploading the initial cache of tools to collaborative version control site GitHub in January, to include: TressFX 3.0, GeometryFX, AOFX, ShadowFX, CodeXL CLI, CodeXL DirectX 12 plug-in, Tootle, and the Liquid VR, Firerays, FireRender, RapidFire, AMD Compute Tools, and AMD Graphics Services software development kits, along with code samples for DirectX 11 and DirectX 12.