Haswell Video Acceleration Code Published
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 23 October 2012 at 02:34 PM EDT. 8 Comments
Just minutes after writing about how Intel keeps releasing open-source Linux code for Haswell, their next-generation hardware for 2013, they ended up pushing out their initial video acceleration (VA-API) support code.

Gwenole Beauchesne wrote into Phoronix this morning with word that Haswell VA-API code has made it into the public Intel VA driver repository. There's thousands of new lines of code needed to bring up video encoding and video decoding for next year's Haswell CPUs with much-enhanced integrated Intel HD graphics.

Some findings from quickly looking through the newly-committed code:

- As I originally explored back in August, there's a lot of different Haswell graphics variants. There's three dozen Haswell GPU variants to be exact, but it's unknown how many of those will actually be found in released products.

- The number of URB entries was doubled from 32 to 64 with Haswell. URB is the Unified Return Buffer.

- There's new separated files for handling the media encoding/decoding for Haswell. "There exist a lot of changes about the media encoder between Haswell and IvyBridge. For example: the VME programming and the corresponding general media command. To be simple, the separated files are added for Haswell. Otherwise it has to consider the complex backward compatibility." In terms of the media decoding for Haswell, "As the MFX involves quite a lot of changes between Ivy and Haswell, the seperated file is added for the media decoding on haswell. This can avoid the complex backward logic for Ivy."

Intel Haswell CPUs are expected to launch in H1'2013 and by the time of the Linux 3.8 kernel and other work -- basically by the end of this calendar year -- it looks like the Linux support for the next-generation Intel hardware should be in good shape. See this morning's Intel Haswell Linux article for greater details on the exciting successor to Ivy Bridge.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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