1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Ubuntu Still Deciding About Intel Acceleration Support

Intel

Published on 09 January 2013 11:18 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
8 Comments

Ubuntu developers are still deciding whether they will enable support for the Intel SNA "Sandy Bridge New Acceleration" architecture within Ubuntu 13.04, the next release of the Linux operating system.

Intel SNA was introduced in mid-2011 as a new 2D acceleration architecture for the xf86-video-intel X.Org driver. While the name implies the "Sandy Bridge" generation of hardware, SNA back-ends are available for newer and older Intel graphics cores too. SNA is largely the work of Chris Wilson at Intel's Open-Source Technology Center and over the years he's tuned this acceleration method to be much faster than UXA, the current stock Intel DDX acceleration path.

Intel SNA is very fast and is an improvement even for older generations of Intel hardware. With the modern Intel Linux graphics driver, SNA is generally bug-free and a noticeable improvement over UXA. While SNA is a huge advantage for Intel Linux customers, it's not the default but at least last year it was made easier to use.

For the past few years there has been a desire by Ubuntu Linux developers to enable Intel SNA for Ubuntu, but in the end it hasn't happened. For the Ubuntu 13.04 cycle, this acceleration change is again being considered.

Canonical's Bryce Harrington wrote in a new mailing list message:
SNA has been under very active development the past couple years. We've been monitoring (and testing) this development, and providing it as an opt-in option for users who wish to use it. We evaluated enabling it last cycle but were not certain about its stability across a wide breadth of card models.

We likely will try again this cycle. We are planning on an X.org stack update rather late in the cycle, and if we include SNA we believe it will be most stable with that stack; thus the lack of attention we've given it right now - any testing we do now would have to be redone with the newer code anyway.

If you want to help, one thing you can do right now is to install the xorg-edgers PPA, enable SNA, and report any SNA-specific bugs you find to upstream.
In terms of the late X.Org updates for Ubuntu 13.04:
Mesa 9.1/10.0 (whichever it ends up being called), xserver 1.14 (nothing dramatic happened there), and the usual driver updates.

"late" might also mean "for alpha2", we haven't decided yet.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
  3. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  4. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
Latest Linux Articles
  1. RunAbove: A POWER8 Compute Cloud With Offerings Up To 176 Threads
  2. 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks
  3. Ubuntu 14.10 XMir System Compositor Benchmarks
  4. Btrfs RAID HDD Testing On Ubuntu Linux 14.10
Latest Linux News
  1. openSUSE Factory & Tumbleweed Are Merging
  2. More Fedora Delays: Fedora 21 Beta Slips
  3. Mono Brings C# To The Unreal Engine 4
  4. Coreboot Now Has Support For Intel Broadwell Hardware
  5. Enlightenment's EFL 1.12 Alpha Has Evas GL-DRM Engine, OpenGL ES 1.1 Support
  6. GTK+ Lands Experimental Backend For Mir Display Server
  7. Ubuntu 14.10 Officially Released
  8. Mesa 10.4 Might Re-Enable HyperZ For R600g/RadeonSI
  9. Intel GVT-g GPU Virtualization Moves Closer
  10. GTK+ 3.16 To Bring Several New Features
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Ubuntu 16.04 Might Be The Distribution's Last 32-Bit Release
  3. Linux hacker compares Solaris kernel code:
  4. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  5. Advertisements On Phoronix
  6. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  7. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  8. Proof that strlcpy is un-needed