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The Latest Details On Intel's Valley View Atom SoC

Intel

Published on 28 June 2012 09:26 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
3 Comments

Another Intel DRM pull request was submitted this morning for driver changes that will ultimately land in the Linux 3.6 kernel. With these latest open-source Intel driver changes, some new details are revealed about Intel's Valley View -- their next-generation Atom SoC that sports Ivy Bridge class graphics rather than any PowerVR cruft.

Daniel Vetter, the Intel Open-Source Technology Center employee from Switzerland, sent in a new drm-intel-next pull request this morning to Red Hat's David Airlie. With the Linux 3.5 kernel nearing, open-source Linux kernel developers are preparing for the merge window that will open for the Linux 3.6 kernel in a matter of weeks. Intel's already submitted some code for Linux 3.6 but now there's another stack of changes.

With today's pull request the official highlights for Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver in the kernel include:
- Remaining vlv patches from Jesse et al.
- Some hw workarounds from Jesse
- hw context support from Ben
- full uncore sharing on ivb
- prep work to move the gtt code from intel-gtt.c to drm/i915 for gen6+
- some backlight code improvements
- leftovers for the timeout ioctl (we've forgotten the getparam)
- ibx transcoder workarounds
- some smaller fixlets and improvements
- the new version of the "dont rely on HPD exclusively for VGA" patch
The changes aren't too interesting aside from the hardware context support patches and some of the other fixes, but then of course the "VLV" (a.k.a. ValleyView) patches.

It was through early work on the Intel Linux graphics driver that Phoronix was the first to expose Valley View. It's their next-gen Atom SoC due out in some months that will be an enhanced Atom processor but what's really exciting is that it will rely upon in-house Intel graphics rather than continuing to license PowerVR SGX IP from Imagination Technologies. This means Intel's own open-source driver will be used rather than some binary blob, etc. The VLV graphics core is derived from Ivy Bridge.

Jesse Barnes has been the main Intel engineer working on the Linux graphics enablement for Valley View. The main highlights from today's drm-intel-next pull include page-flipping support for the Atom SoC and the driver is now being binded to Valley View chipsets.

The page-flipping support can increase performance (the commit) but mainly to note is the binding now to the future chipsets.

This commit shows three current Valley View Atoms. There's two Valley View mobile chips with the PCI IDs of 0x0f30 and 0x0157. There's one Valley View desktop variant with a PCI ID of 0x0155. It's possible there will be more variants than this, but those are the parts to now be added to Intel's Linux kernel driver.

The other Linux Valley View patches for this latest pull all appear to be other general work to address small matters and nothing that's worth pointing out at this time. Stay tuned for more. The Linux support is looking good for when Valley View hardware begins to appear in what will likely be Q4'2012 or early next year.

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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