Improving Linux GPU Power Management
Written by Michael Larabel in Red Hat on 13 February 2009 at 10:03 AM EST. 3 Comments
Red Hat's Matthew Garrett has actively been working on improving power management with graphics processors via the various open-source X.Org drivers. There is quite a lot of work involved, but at the FOSDEM X.Org meeting he shared an update on his progress. In particular, Matthew is trying to conserve power with the GPU, memory, outputs, and displays.

To save power on the GPU core he has been attempting to implement clock-gating and re-clocking support in the different drivers while to reduce the memory power consumption he has been hacking away at frame-buffer compression and re-clocking. When it comes to outputs, most of his power conservation work has dealt with load detection and shutting down PLLs when not in use. Lastly, to conserve power with the display, Garrett sees possibilities in LVDS re-clocking and DPMS (Display Power Management Signaling).

Matthew Garrett is looking at aggressive dynamic state management and demand-based functionality as other areas to work on as part of his GPU power management code. The progress of his work though has been varying based upon what's supported by the different X.Org drivers and the specifications he has access to from the different vendors.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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