1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

A KMS Driver Arrives For AST Hardware

Linux Kernel

Published on 23 April 2012 10:02 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
6 Comments

A kernel mode-setting (KMS) driver for new hardware has been published.

Red Hat's David Airlie has published an initial KMS driver for AST, the ASpeed Technologies chips found in some servers with graphics capabilities. This driver supports the AST 2000, 2100, 2200, 2150 and 2300 chipsets.

For those not familiar with ASpeed, an eight-year-old company, their AST2300 is described as an "Advanced PCIe Graphics & Remote Management Processor" with 2D video graphics, native PCI Express support, iKVM, DDR2/DDR3 support, and an ARMv9 400MHz processor. The company has made drivers for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3/4/5/6, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9/10/11, Solaris x86, and various flavors of Windows.

With this being a server-oriented graphics chip, the AST KMS driver design is a bit different from the other Linux KMS drivers and it ends up putting the KMS console into system RAM since the video RAM on these chips tend to be low capacity. The driver then does dirty updates to a copy in the video RAM. When user-space sets a new scanout buffer it then forcefully evicts the video RAM console so X can create a frame-buffer using all of the video RAM.

The AST DRM/KMS driver is using TTM for video memory management.

There isn't going to be a user-space driver for the ASpeed hardware but rather this driver is intended to go with the xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver.

This new ASpeed KMS driver by David Airlie measures in at just over 3,200 lines of code. David Airlie worked on this driver as part of his development efforts for Red Hat so presumably they'll be looking to get this pulled into the mainline tree, likely for the Linux 3.5 kernel.

This initial ASpeed KMS driver can be found for now on dri-devel.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  2. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  3. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
  4. AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
  2. Is The Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Fast Enough For Steam On Linux Gaming?
  3. Linux 3.18 File-System Performance Minimally Changed But Possible Regressions
  4. AMD Radeon Gallium3D Is Catching Up & Sometimes Beating Catalyst On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Linux 3.18-rc6 Released, A Worrisome Regression Remains
  2. HandBrake 0.10 Brings H.265 & VP8 Encoders
  3. Gngr: A New Web Browser Focused On Privacy
  4. Linux 3.18 Kernel: Not Much Change With Intel Haswell Performance
  5. More File-System Tests Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel
  6. Using NVIDIA's NVENC On Linux With FFmpeg
  7. There's Talk Again About An "Open To The Core" Ubuntu Laptop
  8. PowerVR SGX Driver Code Gets Leaked
  9. V2 Of KDBUS Published For Linux Kernel Review
  10. VirtualBox 4.3.20 Arrives, Still No Sign Of VirtualBox 4.4
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  2. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  3. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  6. Script for Fan Speed Control
  7. Debian Init System Coupling Vote Results
  8. The Slides Announcing The New "AMDGPU" Kernel Driver