Herrmann, the developer known for his DRM terminal emulator work in the past and other projects for killing the Linux kernel console, has been hard at work on the render nodes initiative.
This render/mode-set node work comes down to allowing GPGPU compute support without needing a compositor/display active along with being able to perform multi-seat computing off a single display controller and efficient compositor stacking. The work basically comes down to splitting up the kernel drivers' mode-setting and rendering interfaces.
Back in July were some early patches by David for managing this feat while today he's published the second version of these kernel patches to the DRM subsystem.
The v2 patches reduce the VMA Access Management changes while integrating nicely for both TTM and GEM drivers, With the patches, drm.rnodes=1 must be set as a kernel parameter for enabling render-nodes or adjusting sysfs, at which point render-nodes will be created when loading the supported DRM drivers (Radeon / Intel / Nouveau) and thus can toy with the render-node API.