Nouveau Gets More Improvements For Linux 3.8
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 30 December 2012 at 06:09 PM EST. 6 Comments
Over this weekend a new DRM pull request was submitted by David Airlie for the Linux 3.8 kernel.

While it's past the Linux 3.8 merge window, besides this pull having fixes, it does have some changes that aren't strictly regression fixes. In particular, on Nouveau for open-source NVIDIA support there is initial GK106 enablement. Furthermore, there's FUC microcode fixes for the Fermi-based GF119 and for NVE0 there's fixes as well as enabling acceleration on all known GeForce 600 "Kepler" chipsets.

In early December I wrote about Nouveau lighting up the GK106 Kepler. The GK106 core is what's found in the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660. With this initial code hitting Linux 3.8, kernel mode-setting seems to work and so does acceleration if using the binary driver FUC, but there's likely breakage elsewhere.

The NVIDIA GF119 that's been fixed up for "NVC0" Fermi are OEM-only cards in the GeForce 600 series but aren't actually Keplers. These cards include the GeForce 605 as a re-branded GeForce 510 and the GeForce GT 620 as a re-branded GeForce GT 520.

With fixing up the "NVE0" Kepler FUC, there should finally be "out of the box" acceleration support for all GeForce 600 series hardware when using the Linux 3.8 kernel and a modern Mesa and xf86-video-nouveau DDX.

It's nice to finally see this happening and the Nouveau GeForce 600 series OpenGL support does work, so in terms of running latest-generation hardware on open-source, they beat AMD this time around due to the invasive changes with the Radeon HD 7000 series hardware that's still being matured in the "RadeonSI" driver. Let's hope Linus Torvalds doesn't object this time to these post-merge-window changes.

Aside from these late Nouveau changes, there's also fixes to the Radeon and Intel drivers too. On the Radeon side there is GPU reset fixes and user-space packet support. With the Intel driver there is an i830/i845 fix as well as watermark fixes and other new workarounds, but there isn't yet the Ironlake bug-fix. The new open-source NVIDIA Tegra also seen some fixes with this latest "DRM Fixes" pull.

This latest DRM pull request can be found on the dri-devel list. If you missed the earlier article, see the feature overview of the Linux 3.8 kernel to find out about the other changes and features coming to this next Linux release.
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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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