Every now and then, AMDâ€™s Catalyst Product Manager Terry Makedon will post a tweet about the status of ATIâ€™s Catalyst driver development, including any performance features or fixes that the GPU enthusiast community can look forward to in the next release.
According to a recent tweet he made that now appears to be deleted for some reason, Catalyst 10.7 drivers will be available just before the last week of July and should be released on Wednesday, July 21st (update: the drivers are now confirmed to be released on Monday, July 26th). The update is expected to bring compatibility improvements to VLC Player 1.1.1, an update which will enable GPU acceleration and DSP decoding on select AMD Radeon HD Series cards. As already stated by VideoLan, however, the current code (version 1.1.0) isnâ€™t corking correctly on Windows and VLC programmers are hard at work on releasing version 1.1.1 that will be designed to work with the upcoming Catalyst 10.7 drivers. The group mentions that AMD provided them with a beta release of the upcoming drivers and they have successfully verified that GPU acceleration works.
All in all, Catalyst 10.7 and VLC 1.1.1 will enable a wide community of users on multiple operating systems to playback video using GPU acceleration on their AMD Radeon HD series GPUs. We have a feeling that this event is going to be even more significant than when native GPU acceleration was offered with Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7 on launch day in October 2009. VLC Player is open-sourced code running on multiple platforms and allows a much larger audience of users to play many more format types and codecs than those offered by Microsoftâ€™s Windows Media Player and other competing GPU-accelerated media players.
We are looking forward to the release of Catalyst 10.7 later this month and will report back on any other driver improvements that AMD decides to implement.
Update (July 21, 2010, 12:02am): ATI's Catalyst Maker has now publicly gone on record to state that Catalyst 10.7 will not be released today, but will be releasing before the end of month. Our original source has also reaffirmed the statement with a small update. As a few users have pointed out, Catalyst 10.3 was released in March, Catalyst 10.4 was released in April, Catalyst 10.5 was released in May and Catalyst 10.6 was released in June. For years, ATI's driver development team has been releasing monthly driver updates consistent with a pattern where the numbers after the decimal point in the driver version denote the month of release. In this case, the 7 in Catalyst 10.7 signifies that the drivers will be released in July, and therefore ATI will have them available for download within the next week and a half.
Update 2 (July 22, 2:21pm): ATI's Catalyst Maker has just confirmed a post from LegitReviews that the Catalyst 10.7 driver suite will officially be released on Monday, July 26th.