Ubuntu 12.10 Looks To Use Intel SNA Acceleration
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 8 June 2012 at 12:06 PM EDT. 9 Comments
Ubuntu developers are looking at enabling support for Intel SNA acceleration within the open-source graphics driver for the Ubuntu 12.10 release.

Yesterday there was an "ubuntu-x mini meeting" and one of the interesting items (well basically the only interesting item overall) was that they'll be trying to go with Intel Sandy Bridge New Acceleration by default with the xf86-video-intel DDX driver for the Quantal Quetzal.

From the meeting minutes:
SNA is the new 2D acceleration technology for the Intel graphics driver. It's been under development and testing upstream for quite some time, but is generally considered "ready for use" by upstream. Debian has it enabled in experimental but not unstable at this time.

We enable SNA in our xorg-edgers PPA for preliminary testing. After a week if it doesn't seem to have caused severe breakage, we'll go ahead and enable it, and then re-evaluate it some time prior to alpha-2, giving consideration to bug reports filed during this period. Bryce will handle forwarding bug reports to Intel and working with them towards fixes. At the re-evaluation point we will consider the level of stability and decide whether to return to UXA or move ahead with SNA.
Intel SNA was released last June for what Intel designed to be a crazy fast acceleration architecture for 2D in X.Org. It's matured a great deal and is performing very well, just not for Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge hardware but even for vintage IGPs. There are Phoronix benchmarks from last month comparing Intel SNA, UXA, and GLAMOR for the means of xf86-video-intel driver acceleration.

Seeing Intel SNA by default in Ubuntu 12.10 would be great news for Intel Linux users!

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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