The code has been modified by Tom Stellard of AMD enabling the Radeon Gallium3D OpenCL stack to execute the Bitcoin mining application – “bfgminer”. To mine Bitcoins using the open source GPU driver, one would be required to use Stellard’s branches of Mesa, LLVM and libclc OpenCL library – the readers are informed here that these are non-stock branches. Further bfgminer would require patching as well.
Once the patches are applied and modified code of the stack is used, users will be able to mine Bitcoins using the Radeon HD 5000 and Radeon HD 6000 graphics cards; however the cards have to be pre-HD6900 Cayman in case of the HD 6000 series. The mining performance is not that great though. Users who are interested in mining should be better off by using proprietary NVIDIA and AMD graphics drivers – only if you don’t mind using proprietary code that is.
Tom notes that the code in bfgminer hasn’t been optimized and a lot “can be done to improve performance.” If you are interested in further details head onto Tom Stellard’s blog. Here is a little lowdown for Bitcoin newbies.