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Intel's Valley View Should Be In Shape For Linux 3.11

Linux Kernel

Published on 20 April 2013 12:15 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
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While the merge window on the Linux 3.10 kernel is not even open yet let alone the Linux 3.9 kernel, Intel and mobile enthusiasts already have a reason to look forward to the Linux 3.11 kernel.

It looks like the Linux 3.11 kernel -- which is still several months away -- will have support about finished up from the kernel-side for Valley View, the very attractive "Ivy Bridge" class graphics integrated into a low-power Intel Atom SoC. It's also known as Bay Trail.

Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers have been working on the support going back to last year in their Linux graphics stack. From the 3D/OpenGL side with the Intel Mesa driver, it's basically just like Ivy Bridge so there aren't many changes needed in user-space. From the kernel-side with handling the display controller, power management, and other core graphics functionality, Valley View is changed up a fair amount. To this point -- and with the Linux 3.9 and 3.10 kernels -- the support is considered experimental and not ready for Intel customers.

The Valley View / Bay Trail Atom hardware is still months away but by the time the Linux 3.11 kernel rolls around, it should be into shape. Daniel Vetter wrote a new email to the Intel mailing list on Saturday morning about his updated Intel Git testing tree that represents the first work for Linux 3.11.

We already know about the Intel graphics driver changes for Linux 3.10 and already there's some changes for its succeeding release cycle.

The Intel changes so far for Linux 3.11 aren't really exciting for end-users with changes like OCD re-factoring and FIFO under-run reporting and improved asserts and clean-ups to the i9xx mode-setting sequence, but the Valley View (also shortened to "VLV") is the interesting part: "More vlv stuff from Jesse, code should now be in decent enough shape to boot on real systems. Hopefully we can drop the experimental support tag on vlv for 3.11. Patches include pll fixes, dp voltage/pre-emph setting fixes, turbo/rc6 support and other things."

So with the Linux 3.11 kernel, it looks like the open-source Intel Linux graphics stack will be in a state to run on real systems. You'll also need the very latest xf86-video-intel and Mesa Git components too running in user-space.

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