Intel SNA Continues To Be Tweaked
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 24 January 2013 at 01:41 PM EST. 5 Comments
SNA, Intel's newest acceleration architecture for their open-source X.Org graphics driver, continues to receive improvements on a near daily basis.

Intel SNA is what most of the xf86-video-intel driver changes have been about since this 2D acceleration architecture was introduced back in 2011. SNA is the pet project of Chris Wilson at Intel's Open-Source Technology Center and is the one responsible for a majority of the work.

Even after two years of work, it still hasn't replaced UXA as the default acceleration method, although Ubuntu 13.04 is defaulting to it for Intel hardware. After all of this time, SNA is still an active work-in-progress.

Committed today to the xf86-video-intel driver is the latest work. Chris Wilson is now experimenting with a threaded renderer for fallback compositing. This threaded renderer is for fallback purposes and uses pthreads for supporting multi-threading when falling back to Pixman for image compositing.

There were also other work committed today and yesterday, including improvements for the SNA back-end affecting the old Intel "Gen2" and "Gen3" graphics hardware. Another change was preferring to use the BLT ring for vsync'ed copies on Ivy Bridge and future hardware, plus a variety of other technical advancements.

The ongoing "Sandy Bridge New Acceleration" architecture improvements to xf86-video-intel can be monitored through this CGit query. Maybe in 2013 we'll finally see SNA replace UXA as the default 2D acceleration method.

About The Author
Author picture

Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

Related Intel News
Popular News
Trending Reviews & Featured Articles