Haswell's Resource Streamer Still Being Poked On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 9 October 2013 at 12:07 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Patches are still baking to enable the use of Haswell's Resource Streamer by the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver. The resource streamer that's new to Haswell processors have the ability of accelerating certain commands that otherwise take time on the CPU.

Back in early July was the initial work on Haswell's Resource Streamer. The resource streamer can accelerate commands that otherwise are on the CPU and take time to build-up until submitting to the GPU. For Haswell's resource streamer it can take the process of generating binding tables and constant buffers and offload all that work straight away to the resource streamer rather than the CPU.

The resource streamer has the potential to be of a performance benefit but in its initial form didn't provide much in the way of real-world performance benefits. The initial patches also caused random GPU lock-ups and were never merged.

Three months later to the day, Intel's Abdiel Janulgue has published his second version of the Haswell Resource Streamer patches for the Intel Mesa driver. This work requires sixteen Intel Mesa driver patches plus other Mesa and Linux kernel (Intel DRM) patches that were previously posted. The hard lock-ups should now be resolved and in acknowledging this as an experimental feature, the support is hidden behind a new environment variable "INTEL_RESOURCE_STREAMER=1" that must be set.

The latest Intel Haswell Resource Streamer patches can be found on the mesa-dev mailing list.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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