In the months ahead there's going to be a variety of tablets, 2-in-1 devices, and other low-power systems running off Intel Atom Bay Trail / Silvermont SoCs that were announced yesterday. While the new Atoms are exciting for their use of in-house HD Graphics and low-power design, how's the Linux support?
It's IDF week in San Francisco and Intel has formerly unveiled their Bay Trail SoCs. The forthcoming low-power Intel hardware has what's got excited in recent months on the mobile/tablet front since it features in-house Intel HD graphics over licensed graphics IP from Imagination and their PowerVR family.
Luc Verhaegen, the former RadeonHD graphics driver developer at SUSE and now working on the Lima project for reverse-engineering ARM Mali graphics, has shared his thoughts on the recent developments surrounding Intel backing out their XMir driver support.
In preparation for running Intel Haswell Gallium3D benchmarks, this weekend I ran some fresh Mesa 9.1.6 vs. 9.2.0 vs. 9.3-devel tests on an Intel Core i7 "Haswell" system with HD Graphics 4600.
The "Ilo" driver that began targeting Sandy/Ivy Bridge graphics support on the Gallium3D architecture in mainline Mesa now has initial support for Haswell graphics.
In an interesting change of events, the mainline Intel Linux graphics driver has reverted the patch to support XMir -- the X11 compatibility layer for the Mir Display Server in Ubuntu Linux.
Going back to last year Intel Linux developers have been working on Stereo 3D support for their graphics driver. The support is still a work-in-progress but the code is now up to its third revision.
Beignet is an OpenCL Intel IvyBridge/Haswell implementation that's developed at Intel and using a new code-base not based upon Mesa/Gallium3D like the other hardware vendors are doing for their open-source GPU compute strategy. The Beignet developers are now working on making it possible to properly share GL buffers with the Intel Mesa driver.
If you are an owner of Intel "Ironlake" generation hardware, there is still some good open-source Linux graphics driver news. Intel developers have addressed hardware context support for Ironlake Linux graphics and will be re-attempting to enable RC6 power-savings support.
For those curious whether Intel's queued up driver changes for landing in the Linux 3.12 kernel offer much in the way of better performance, for at least common Intel HD Graphics systems it doesn't appear that way.
Chris Wilson has tagged the xf86-video-intel 2.99.901 open-source Intel Linux hardware graphics driver today after making two significant changes: SNA will become the default 2D acceleration method and Canonical's XMir is now supported by the mainline driver.
The Intel Haswell processors with Iris Pro 5200 "GT3e" graphics sports 128MB of embedded DRAM for maximizing the Intel graphics performance. With the Linux 3.12 kernel, this "eLLC cache" is being enabled in full plus other Intel DRM driver changes for benefiting Intel Linux customers.
The Intel X.Org driver has gained virtual output support to extend the local desktop with remote outputs. Simply put, this can help NVIDIA Optimus/Bumblebee users on Linux.
For those curious about the performance of Intel's 520 Series Serial ATA 3.0 solid-state drives under Linux, here are a couple open-source disk performance benchmarks comparing the 120GB Intel SSDSC2CW12 to a few other HDD/SSDs.
An Intel developer has committed an improved platform command to LLVM's debugger for improved interfacing with remote machines.
Beyond making a whole lot of Intel X.Org driver changes and some recent yet-to-be-merged performance improvements, Chris Wilson has put out a new release of the Cairo graphics library.
Intel has more DRM driver patches that are forthcoming to improve the graphics performance on Linux.
Our latest Intel Linux graphics tests are of a Core i7 Haswell laptop with HD Graphics 4600 and testing the intel-drm-nightly kernel with the latest Intel DRM driver code being tested.
Just hours after new DRM Render Node patches were published, the xf86-video-intel X.Org driver has merged experimental support for the new DRM interface.
The Linux 3.11 kernel hasn't even been released yet, at which point the Linux 3.12 kernel merge window will then open, but Intel's Open-Source Technology Center is already busy at work on features not likely to land until Linux 3.13.
After developing LLVM/Clang 3.4 benchmarks earlier in the week from the System76 Gazelle Professional with Core i7 "Haswell" processor, out now are benchmarks of the latest GCC 4.9 development compiler.
While Intel is expected to show off their Bay Trail Atom SoCs (a.k.a. Valley View) next month that feature IvyBridge-class Intel HD graphics, the GMA-500 "Poulsbo" DRM driver is still being refined.
Chris Wilson has released another point update to the xf86-video-intel DDX.
Beignet is the controversial project to provide OpenCL/GPGPU support for modern Intel GPUs on Linux. Since the first Beignet release in April, this open-source Intel OpenCL project has been making lots of progress.
When it comes to open-source Linux graphics drivers, Intel is the company most committed to their success. Intel exclusively offers their Linux graphics support through a fully open-source stack while AMD and NVIDIA are mostly focused on their proprietary graphics drivers. AMD does have a handful of employees devoted to their open-source driver while NVIDIA dedicates no one and leaves it up to the Nouveau community for reverse-engineering.
While Mesa 9.2 hasn't even officially been released yet, with it already having been branched from its Git master code-base since last month, are there already some performance-beneficial changes living in master (Mesa 9.3-devel) worth writing home about? Here's some benchmarks.
For those OpenGL application and game developers seeking to optimize their program's performance for the Mesa hardware drivers, and more specifically the Intel HD Graphics support, here's some very useful information.
For those not actively following the Mesa Git repository, there continues to be new performance-optimizing patches flowing in from Intel's developers for their open-source Linux graphics driver.
Eric Anholt of Intel is currently working on some experimental Mesa code for shipping "Mega drivers", or building all of the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers together as a single shared object library file. There's some promise to this mega drivers concept in enhancing performance due to compiler/linker optimizations.
A new set of Linux GPU driver patches have emerged for allowing HDMI 4K support.
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