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Intel, NVIDIA Hybrid GPU Switching On Linux Nears

Free Software

Published on 07 December 2010 12:46 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
11 Comments

A month after making some small progress towards "hybrid graphics switching" on Linux to allow notebooks with dual GPUs (usually a low-power integrated graphics processor and a performance-oriented but high-powered discrete GPU), Red Hat's David Airlie is beginning to get things working for Intel and NVIDIA GPU combos on notebooks such as the Lenovo ThinkPad T410. Hybrid graphics on Linux still sucks, but at least it's getting better.

In a branch dubbed "drm-nvidia-switch" of David Airlie's Linux kernel DRM testing tree he has the kernel portion working for switching between the Intel IGP and the NVIDIA GPU with the open-source i915 and Nouveau DRM/KMS drivers, respectively. However, some bits are still missing and this will not work in all notebooks, but testing is just being done on the ThinkPad.

More details on this Linux GPU switching achievement can be found on David Airlie's blog.

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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