The Gallium3D Intel 965 Driver Gets Dropped
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 29 November 2011 at 11:53 AM EST. 15 Comments
The Mesa Gallium3D driver for the Intel 965 IGP series and newer (the "i965g" driver) has been deleted from mainline Mesa.

The removal of these 32,000+ lines of code from Mesa for this Intel Gallium3D driver come sine the i965g driver barely worked and there's no active stakeholders interested in the driver. The i965g driver also doesn't support the latest Intel hardware like Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.

The i965g driver was largely worked on previously by (Tungsten Graphics) VMware and community members. Intel has never officially supported the Gallium3D bandwagon. Having this driver in mainline Mesa just adds a maintenance burden when Gallium3D developers are working on architectural changes, etc.

Meanwhile, the "i915g" driver is still around for pre-965 Intel integrated graphics processors. This driver is at least actively worked on (thanks in large part due to Google and their interest of this unofficial driver for Chrome OS) and works fairly well on the supported ASICs, including the i945 IGP common to early generations of netbooks. The Intel 915 Gallium3D driver also performs well, but the i965g driver just never made it as far.

It's possible down the road that someone may pick-up work on this driver again and return it to mainline Mesa, but there's no active interest at the moment and Intel isn't yet backing any Gallium3D driver.

The i965g driver was dropped via this Git commit. The official "i965" classic Mesa DRI driver is not affected in any way by this action.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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