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

Nouveau Changes Will Make Features Like SLI Easier

Nouveau

Published on 04 October 2012 10:18 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau
9 Comments

With the significant DRM changes in the Linux 3.7 kernel there's something to enjoy out of all the major open-source graphics drivers. For Nouveau users, it's particularly exciting right now and there's more hope for the future.

Nouveau users with Linux 3.7 will immediately benefit from fan control support and Kepler FUC support so that you no longer need to jump through hurdles for GeForce 600 series microcode blobs in order to get accelerated support. There's also other bug-fixes and improvements to enhance this reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA driver.

While not immediately relevant to end-users, the Nouveau kernel driver code rewrite may prove interesting. As mentioned in the commit, David Airlie describes it as "major driver rework into a hw core driver, makes features like SLI a lot saner to implement."

There isn't any work going on right now (at least in any major official capacity) for open-source NVIDIA SLI (Scalable Link Interface) support for multi-GPU rendering or any other exciting NVIDIA GeForce/Quadro features, but this splitting and re-factoring of the code will make such features easier to implement in the future.

Ben Skeggs of Red Hat has been working on this code and his commit goes on to explain "Future work will be headed in the way of separating the policy supplied by the nouveau drm module from the mechanisms provided by the driver core. There will be a couple of major classes (subdev, engine) of driver modules that have clearly defined tasks, and the further directory structure change is to reflect this."

The follow-up commit does "This commit provides most of the infrastructure to support a major overhaul of Nouveau's internals coming in the following commits. This work aims to take all the things we've learned over the last several years, and turn that into a cleaner architecture that's more maintainable going forward." This rework reduces the complexity of the driver as each component of the driver is more independent, there's better tracking of GPU units, all NVIDIA GPUs can now be exposed to the client over a single file descriptor, and the core hardware support code is now untangled from the DRM implementation. There's also going to be a user-space version of the core code.

So beyond the immediate end-user improvements to the Nouveau driver for the Linux 3.7 kernel, there's significant underlying work in this next kernel release to bolster the growth of this open-source GPU driver in the future.

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 Articles & Reviews
  1. Kubuntu 15.04 Is Turning Out Quite Nice, Good Way To Try Out The Latest KDE
  2. 5-Way Linux Distribution Comparison On The Core i3 NUC
  3. OCZ ARC 100 Linux SSD Benchmarks
  4. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Works Great As A Linux Ultrabook
  5. Transcend SSD370 256GB
  6. Linux 3.19 File-System Tests Of EXT4, Btrfs, XFS & F2FS
Latest Linux News
  1. ALSA 1.0.29 Released
  2. Ubuntu 15.04 Beta Released, Ubuntu MATE Made Official
  3. Coreboot Developer: Purism Doesn't Deliver On Libre Firmware
  4. LLVM 3.6 & Clang 3.6 Deliver More Features, Complete C++14 Support
  5. The Most Popular Open-Source Linux Benchmarks
  6. The Tremendous Features Of Fedora 22
  7. Krita 2.9 Released, Their Biggest Release Ever
  8. RISC OS Now Works With The Raspberry Pi 2
  9. A Single UEFI Executable With The Linux Kernel, Initrd & Command Line
  10. Unigine 2.0 Beta Brings Performance Optimizations, Oculus Rift DK2 Support
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Linux 4.0-RC1 Tagged, Linux 4.0 Will Bring Many Notable Improvements
  2. Screenshots Of The GNOME 3.16 Changes
  3. Linux 4.0 Doesn't Have The Weirdest Codename
  4. Mir Now Depends Upon C++14
  5. GNOME 3.16 Beta Brings Wayland-Based Log-in Screen
  6. LLVM Clang Compiling The Linux Kernel Is A Big Topic For 2015
  7. Linux BIOS/UEFI Updating Is Going To Get Much Better With UEFI 2.5
  8. Canonical Comes Up With Its Own FUSE Filesystem For Linux Containers
%%CLICK_URL_UNESC%%