Less than a week ago we shared that Intel is looking to drop EXA support in favor of their UMA Acceleration Architecture (UXA) as well as stripping out compatibility for the older DRI1 infrastructure. Well, they have indeed done that. Intel has released the xf86-video-intel 18.104.22.168 which already has about 10% less code than the 2.7.0 release.
The first xf86-video-intel 2.8 test release completely eliminates XAA and EXA support and also strips out all support for Direct Rendering Infrastructure 1. Now if you want any 2D hardware acceleration, the only method is to use UXA, but still that method still isn't bug-free. Some Intel users report stability problems and rendering issues when using UXA, but Intel dropped the EXA support since it does not support their Graphics Execution Manager. They hope dropping the XAA/EXA support will also lower their bug count.
While DRI1 support is dropped, the xf86-video-intel 22.214.171.124 driver does have improved support for running without DRI at all. Due to all of these changes, X Server 1.6 or newer is required for xf86-video-intel 2.8 and later.
The release announcement along with source download links for this first Intel DDX driver snapshot can be found on the X.Org mailing list.