New Intel IGP Appears In Linux 2.6.30 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 28 March 2009 at 08:25 AM EDT. 9 Comments
The merge window for the Linux 2.6.30 kernel is now open and Linus has already accepted a horde of new patches for this next quarterly Linux update. Among what has been pulled in so far is the DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) support for a new Intel chipset. This new Intel IGP is described by Intel's Shaohua Li as "a G33-like desktop and mobile chipset." The patch adds in two new product IDs (0xa001 and 0xa011) for the desktop and mobile version and makes some clock-related changes. Within the code, the chipset is referred to as just an IGD (Integrated Graphics Device) rather than being more descriptive like the I945GM, I965GM, and GM45 defines.

This new Intel product does appear to be related to the Intel G33, but that is now a fairly old chipset. The G33 Bearlake (GMA 3100) was released about two years ago and since then has been outpaced by the GMA X3100, X3500, and most recently the X4500 series. If this patch was just adding in two new PCI IDs for old G33 hardware that previously went unnoticed, there shouldn't be any clock-related changes. But in the kernel patch it clearly is being described as a new Intel chipset.

Intel has yet to announce the revival of the G33 series or any new low-end IGP. Perhaps this is for an updated set of graphics capabilities on their Atom devices? Right now most Atom devices use the Intel 945 (GMA 950) hardware, but having GMA 3100 series graphics on these low-power devices would certainly be more beneficial and a step in the right direction. Beyond that, why would Intel continue reviving their G33 series when they have their newer G4x hardware.

Whatever the case ends up being, at least there is mainline open-source support for this new Intel IGP, unlike their Intel Poulsbo driver that is a bloody mess and was rejected from entering the mainline DRM with its 3D support depending upon a binary blob.
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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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