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DRM Changes In Linux 3.5 Are Huge

Linux Kernel

Published on 29 May 2012 05:50 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
7 Comments

This news item is coming a bit belated due to LinuxTag, but the DRM graphics driver pull went in last week for the Linux 3.5 kernel. The open-source kernel graphics driver changes this time around are absolutely huge, complete with three new KMS drivers.

Key features of the main DRM pull in the Linux 3.5 kernel include:

- There's a new KMS driver for the ASpeed Technologies server GPU chipsets. This is a simple KMS driver written by David Airlie at Red Hat as the company looks to begin shipping KMS-only graphics drivers.

- Joining the AST KMS driver is a Matrox G200 series KMS driver. This too was written by Red Hat.

- The third new KMS driver in Linux 3.5 is for Cirrus. This is actually the most interesting of the three new KMS drivers because it's a virtual KMS GPU driver for use with QEMU when emulating the Cirrus hardware. So when using KVM/QEMU now there's finally this Cirrus KMS driver rather than an old DDX driver. All three of these drivers just use xf86-video-modesetting now as the generic DDX driver for X.Org.

- Audio Switcheroo: first there was VGA switcheroo for graphics card switching and now there's support within the Intel HDA audio driver for supporting HDMI audio switching and disabling the sound driver when the GPU is off.

- The DRM EDID parser has seen improvements for reduced blanking and better DMT. The core DRM also now handles CRTC and plane properties.

- The Samsung Exynos DRM driver now has 2D core acceleration support, DMA-BUF PRIME support, and HDMI features.

- The Intel DRM driver has greater Intel Haswell support as their 2013 Ivy Bridge successor, the initial Intel Valleyview support for Ivy Bridge graphics on an Atom SoC (no more PowerVR graphics!), HDMI info-frame fixes, and various clean-ups/fixes.

- The Radeon DRM driver has HDMI audio support improvements, improved GPU lock-up recovery, less memory copying on PCI Express, improved fence handling, and more.

- The Intel GMA500 "Poulsbo" KMS driver now has 1080p support, ACPI fixes, and code-clean ups.

- The Nouveau DRM driver has better NVA3 memory re-clocking, NVIDIA GeForce 600 "Kepler" acceleration code, and a-sync buffer moves on NV84+ hardware. The GeForce 600 Kepler Nouveau support still requires external, out-of-tree firmware.

With Linux 3.5 there's also DMA-BUF PRIME support and other DMA-BUF improvements for this buffer sharing infrastructure.

The Linux 3.5 DRM pull request can be found here.

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 .
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