AMD won’t be able to fix HDMI 2.1 errors on Linux thanks to the HDMI Forums

A black HDMI 2.1 cable with a red and white logo.

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AMD has been having trouble implementing a fix for an issue on Linux that’s been plaguing their Radeon graphics card. The error causes bugs to occur when using HDMI. However, it’s not about to get better, as bad news recently came out for Linux gamers – the HDMI forum has rejected AMD’s proposal for implementing HDMI 2.1 into the project.

The conflict comes from the HDMI Forums legal requirements, which don’t allow HDMI 2.1+ to be implemented in open-source software, which AMD Radeon on Linux is. When running 4K 120Hz on a Linux display using HDMI ports, you’d be faced with bugs preventing it from operating. Sadly, this issue is here to stay after the HDMI Forum rejected AMD’s fix due to the graphics driver being open-source on Linux.

This was officially stated by Alex Deucher, an AMD developer, in a forum post as a response to someone encountering the error. “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 said.

Users unhappy with HDMI forum’s rejection of AMD’s HDMI 2.1 fix

Users aren’t happy with this news, as the driver itself can supposedly support HDMI 2.1 on all models, including Linux. They’re asking AMD to change this specification on product pages so others aren’t misled by its HDMI 2.1+ capabilities. Some people purchased their AMD Radeon graphics cards to use HDMI 2.1 on Linux. So, to have this spec pulled out from beneath them has predictably ruffled a few feathers.

NVIDIA GeForce and Intel Arc graphics cards are already a step ahead of the issue. This is mainly because they use an internal chip on the PCB to convert DP-to-HDMI. AMD doesn’t have this chip, though. Instead, users will have to use a DisplayPort and DP-to-HDMI cable in order to solve the problem.

It’s understandable that the HDMI Forums rejected the proposal from AMD due to not wanting to have certain technologies open-sourced. But, unfortunately, it’s also understandable why so many AMD Radeon Linux users are upset. Seeing as how other big-name graphics cards already have this issue sorted out, many users could simply jump ship when it comes time to update their GPU. Naturally, this wouldn’t be good news for AMD, let alone any company.

AMD is already rumored to be focusing more on mid-range specs for their upcoming RX 8000 series. And, for those who have now just had this negative experience with running the graphics drivers on Linux, it could be the final push needed to get them to buy another brand. AMD will likely want to implement the internal chip for DP-to-HDMI if they want to save loyalty for Linux users.

Annie is a journalist focusing on the latest technology news and deals. At PC Guide, Annie covers the latest bundle deals and news from the world of tech, with a particular focus on GPU and CPU news.