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GPU Offloading PRIME May Get Improvements

Google

Published on 20 March 2010 09:33 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Google
8 Comments

A week ago we reported on open-source GPU offloading, which allowed multiple GPUs from different vendors that were backed by open-source graphics drivers to offload the 3D rendering work to a secondary GPU and then to pass the rendered result back to the primary GPU driving the display. This open-source work referred to as PRIME was based on NVIDIA's Optimus Technology. This work was done by David Airlie just as a proof of concept and he doesn't intend to get the work completed and shipped in the upstream packages, but is hoping to hand off this task to someone else.

Fortunately, it looks like someone else may be able to pickup these Linux kernel, Graphics Execution Manager (GEM), DRI2 protocol, X Server, and DRI2 patches and run with them. Well, it's been proposed that this be part of the X.Org Google Summer of Code work, whereby Google would be paying a student developer to work on PRIME. Other Summer of Code projects for X.Org include Gallium3D H.264 and OpenGL 3.2 support, among other subjects.

David Airlie has agreed to be a mentor for this GPU offloading work for Albert Vilella, but they currently lack the supported NVIDIA laptops to continue on with this work. They are hoping ASUS or another company will step up and provide hardware sponsorship. It looks like this work will be sharing a project page with Hybrid Graphics Linux at Launchpad. Hopefully this project can move along.

About The Author
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 and or contacted via .
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