More On GEM & Intel's Next Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 10 August 2008 at 08:19 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The xf86-video-intel 2.4 driver was just released about three weeks ago, but we're already well into the xf86-video-intel 2.5 development cycle, which will be Intel's next quarterly graphics driver release. Intel's Jesse Barnes has provided a brief status on the code mergers taking place for this next open-source release.

At the forefront of development with this driver is GEM, or the Graphics Execution Manager. GEM is of course Intel's replacement for Tungsten's TTM as an in-kernel memory manager for the graphics drivers. As we shared just days ago, GEM has entered the mainline Intel code for their DDX, DRM, and Mesa drivers. The xf86-video-intel 2.5.0 release will be the first version shipping with GEM support.

To benefit from GEM, however, you'll first need the Graphics Execution Manager code within the kernel. This isn't done yet. We've been planning on seeing this happen with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel but Jesse notes that it may still happen in time for Linux 2.6.27.


Jesse also notes that he's been bringing the intel-kernelmode branch up to speed with GEM, but that's not quite ready yet for kernel-based mode-setting. He is also adding GTT (Graphics Translation Table) mapping support to GEM.

So there isn't anything too new to share if you've been staying up to date on the news at Phoronix and in the Phoronix Forums other than Intel is hard at work on their open-source video driver and GEM will be a big player in this next release. The blog post written by Jesse Barnes can be read here.
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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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