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!