HDMI Forum to AMD: No, you can’t make an open source HDMI 2.1 driver

HDMI cables, bundled up and covered in some dust

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Any Linux user trying to send the highest-resolution images to a display at the fastest frame rate is out of luck for the foreseeable future, at least when it comes to an HDMI connection.

The licensing group that controls the HDMI standard, the HDMI Forum, has reportedly told AMD that it does not allow an open source implementation of the HDMI 2.1 (or HDMI 2.1+) specification, blocking tools such as AMD's FreeSync from working over HDMI connections at resolution/rate combinations like 4K at 120 Hz, or 5K at 240 Hz.

Linux blog Phoronix noted in January 2021 that the HDMI Forum did not offer public access to the HDMI 2.1 specification. Alex Deucher, an AMD engineer who has long contributed to the company's open source offerings, has kept a related bug thread alive for at least two years, only to deliver the negative outcome yesterday.

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