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The Linux 2.6.36 Kernel Will Have Some Fun DRM

Linux Kernel

Published on 05 August 2010 10:05 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
68 Comments

Now that the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released a few days ago, Linus Torvalds has begun pulling in new code for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel as the various developers begin submitting pull requests of their new work. Dave Airlie, the maintainer of the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) code in the Linux kernel, overnight sent in his first Git pull request of his DRM tree. This pull request brings many new features for Intel, ATI, and NVIDIA/Nouveau graphics hardware.

The main feature of the Intel DRM in the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was H.264 VA-API decoding support with Intel's newest graphics processors. The Linux 2.6.36 kernel should bring in greater eDP support, various patches all over, and tracepoints support for page-flipping and vblank support. Intel's Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) support within their KMS driver has been ongoing for better supporting this interface that's used internally on newer notebooks for their display panels.

The ATI Radeon DRM driver changes are most prominent and include R600/700 tiling support, R300/500 Hyper-Z support, support for reading thermal sensors on most R600 ASICs, R600 kernel bit state emission minimization, ioport accessors for BIOS scripts, under-scan support for HDMI TVs, and RS690 HDMI audio support. For those unfamiliar with Hyper-Z, it is an ATI technology that originates with their R100 chipsets and is designed to improve rendering efficiency by providing Z-buffer compression, fast clear support of a Z-buffer, and hierarchical Z-buffer that throws out useless pixels before hitting the rendering pipeline.

With the Nouveau DRM for providing open-source graphics support on Linux for NVIDIA graphics processors, the 2.6.36 DRM will offer improved suspend-and-resume support for the NV10 through NV40 GPUs, SIL164 i2C chip support, improved NV50 DisplayPort along with hot-plug support, and EDID over ACPI support.

The core Linux DRM code has BKL removal, whitespace clean-ups, non-PCI DRM layer support, memory leak fixes, and support for vblank tracepoints.

David's pull request announcing these major changes (plus lots of other minor work) for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel can be read on dri-devel.

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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