A New QEMU QXL Driver Uses UXA
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 26 January 2011 at 12:57 PM EST. 2 Comments
Soren Sandmann Pedersen has announced the release of the xf86-video-qxl 0.0.13 driver. The QXL X.Org driver isn't commonly talked about at Phoronix like the ATI/AMD, Intel, and Nouveau Linux drivers, but this is the driver used for the QEMU para-virtualized guests with the QXL Virtual GPU that is found in SPICE, the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization System. This driver brings some semi-interesting changes.

The xf86-video-qxl 0.0.13 driver begins hooking in UXA acceleration, the EXA-derived GEM-based acceleration architecture conceived by Intel for their driver. This QXL driver update also has a faster memory allocation (malloc) implementation, better debugging support code, and a number of bug fixes.

As UXA, the UMA Acceleration Architecture, isn't integrated into the mainline X.Org Server, the xf86-video-qxl driver adds its own copy of the UXA files to the driver, which tacks on around 6,400 lines of replicated code. This acceleration architecture was originally introduced by Intel in mid-2008 after they abandoned plans to advance EXA so they kept the EXA API while gutting it internally to hook into their Graphics Execution Manager API for pixmap memory management, etc. The Radeon and Nouveau drivers continue to use EXA for their 2D acceleration architecture.

The xf86-video-qxl 0.0.13 driver release announcement with a full list of changes can be found on the mailing list.
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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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