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Intel Has 20~30 Full-Time Linux Graphics Developers

Intel

Published on 02 February 2013 07:20 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
41 Comments

It was revealed today at the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) that Intel through their Open-Source Technology Center is currently over two dozen full-time graphics driver developers. They're also looking to hiring more developers.

More details on the Intel DRM driver discussions will happen in another Phoronix article, but the head count details they shared were interesting in their own right and worthy of a shout-out -- along with noting they want to hire even more developers.

Daniel Vetter was talking about the Intel kernel graphics work on Saturday morning of FOSDEM in Brussels. When asked about the number of developers devoted to this, he said a few years ago there were just 2~3 kernel developers while now they have like "12 guys" working on the kernel DRM support. Most of the developers are working on Linux hardware enablement support. This work obviously is prior to announcing any hardware and stuff they can't talk about yet, but Intel's OTC policy is still about "upstream first." Intel's contributions represent around 50% of the Linux Direct Rendering Manager changes.

Vetter also noted that the Intel open-source developers are currently working "about three generations ahead" on new product support under Linux. For about one year now there's already been public Linux support in varying stages for Haswell and Valley View.

It shouldn't be a big surprise to think that these Intel OTC Linux developers are already working on Broadwell support, Intel's 2014 platform to succeed Haswell. The Broadwell graphics code will likely begin to surface in the next few months, based upon the timing for Intel publishing the first Linux patches for Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell. In other non-graphics area, there's already been support being worked on for Broadwell and Bay Trail. There's also likely other unannounced Intel projects being worked on for Linux too.

Aside from the dozen or so kernel developers, it was also said that there's about nine developers workign full-time on Mesa. In addition to these core developers, there's also other Intel product groups working on stuff and adapting their code for other purposes.

Intel OTC also employs several developers to work on Wayland/Weston.

In the end, the estimated head count is 20 to 30 according to Vetter. He also made it clear that they are looking to hire even more developers. Interesting and qualified Linux developers looking for employment should certainly consider Intel OTC as I have heard they are a great employer.

Intel already employs many more open-source developers than those at AMD where they have only a handful (~5) working on the open-source Radeon graphics driver for Linux. On Nouveau, the only sponsored support comes via Ben Skeggs at Red Hat working full-time on Nouveau and there's also contributions by other Red Hat developers (David Airlie) and occasional commits from developers at other companies, but is nearly all community-based.

My notes on the other Intel Linux discussions plus a video recording will come in later Phoronix articles.

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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