Last night Intel finally announced the Intel Atom Processor Z6xx Series Family, which has been known under the Moorestown codename for quite a while and is something we first reported on back in 2007. With the new Atom Z6xx processors Intel is hoping it will propel their Atom brand within more smart-phones, tablets, and other mobile Internet devices, but these low-power processors will likely end up in some netbooks too. Unfortunately, the graphics for the Moorestown / Atom Z7xx platform is still looking to be a major disappointment to Linux users.
We are still working on the first part of our Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS benchmarks that are set to be published early next week, but so far there is one easy conclusion to draw from the completed tests: Intel's Linux graphics driver is still no match to the Intel Windows driver.
While Gallium3D is viewed as the future of the 3D Linux graphics driver architecture, it's been in development for a long time and still doesn't have a solid following. In particular, Intel is still missing from the Gallium3D party.
With the releases last month of the xf86-video-intel 2.11.0 DDX driver and the Mesa 7.8 graphics stack, Intel has updated its quarterly Linux graphics package in which it recommends versions of several key components for the ideal Intel experience.
Just as planned, Intel has released their quarterly DDX driver update for Linux users and those using X.Org with its KMS-only support.
Intel's Zou Nan hai has published a patch for the Intel kernel DRM code that provides multiple ring buffer support for Clarkdale and Arrandale systems, in other words Intel's new IGPs that are embedded onto CPUs such as the new Core i3 530 and its stellar integrated graphics.
Intel has today announced its AppUp store is now available to those running Moblin 2.1. AppUp was announced back in January during the Consumer Electronics Show as a software application store designed for netbook users running Windows and Linux. Nearly three months later. AppUp for Moblin 2.1 is now available. This initial AppUp launch is limited to the United States and Canada, but next week some 27 countries within Europe should have access too.
Not only is the X.Org community preparing for the release of X Server 1.8 and Mesa 7.8 (both of which had new RCs issued today), but the Intel OSTC team is preparing to push out the xf86-video-intel 2.11 DDX driver that will be part of their recommended 2010Q1 graphics driver stack.
With the first quarter coming to an end soon, Intel is preparing its quarterly Linux graphics driver update. This time it's version 2.11 that's being primed of the xf86-video-intel DDX driver. The first release candidate came last month, but this afternoon Carl Worth has made available a second release candidate that's officially version 2.10.902.
When it comes to Intel's X.Org driver for Linux, xf86-video-intel, the most recent release was version 2.10 and it arrived in early January complete with Pineview (their next-generation Intel Atom systems) support, X-Video improvements, and various other features. The xf86-video-intel 2.11 driver is now emerging as their next quarterly update that brings in the KMS page-flipping and DRI2 swap events support. However, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, which is set to be released in April, will not be shipping with either of these drivers. Instead Canonical has decided to stick with the xf86-video-intel 2.9 driver that was released last September.
Going back to last April, Intel's Ian Romanick has been working on GLU3 and yesterday afternoon on his blog he has announced some changes. The GLU3 code-base has moved to a new FreeDesktop.org Git repository, there is now a project mailing list, and he expects to finally release GLU3 1.0 within one month or so. There is some other functionality he hopes to push into GLU3, but that should be complete over the coming days.
Intel's quarterly Linux graphics driver update is due out in about one month so preparations for this have gotten underway with the first release candidate now being available. The xf86-video-intel 2.11.0 RC1 (v2.10.901) driver boasts support for the latest DRI2 changes (particularly the KMS page-flipping ioctl and new swap events) and many bug fixes.
Intel launched the desktop "Clarkdale" and mobile "Arrandale" processors a few months back that boasted a number of architectural improvements and one of the big features was the integration of a graphics processor directly on the CPU itself. As we shared when testing out the Intel Core i5 530 processor, the Clarkdale graphics performance was fairly nice and worked quite well under Linux using an open-source driver besides a few bugs.
Over the weekend we started hearing from PR folks that there would be a joint Intel and Nokia news announcement on Monday that would be of interest to us, and today we found out that's indeed the case. The Mobile World Conference is currently taking place in Spain with all sorts of mobile platform announcements coming out for both Microsoft and Linux, but this one announcement today is that Intel and Nokia are joining forces on the mobile front by marrying their platforms together, Moblin and Maemo, respectively. The end product of combining Moblin and Maemo is a new project called MeeGo.
Jesse Barnes, one of the Intel developers responsible for working on their Linux graphics driver stack, has published a new patch that adds "dynamic performance control support for Ironlake." Ironlake was Intel's codename for the onboard GPU found on new Clarkdale / Arrandale processors like the recently reviewed Intel Core i3 530. This patch takes advantage of a hardware performance and power management feature to actually increase the GPU clock (or to "overclock" it in a Graphics Turbo mode) when needed to deliver better performance. This patch is fairly large and can be found currently on the Intel driver mailing list.
Last week we shared that Intel Core i3 Linux benchmarks were being worked on at Phoronix with an Intel Core i3 530 "Clarkdale" processor that we had purchased. This recently released Intel Core i3 processor features an integrated graphics processor on the CPU itself. This next-generation Intel graphics processor is supported by the Linux 2.6.33 DRM and was actually being worked on publicly within the Intel Linux driver stack for months under the name of IGDNG. While Intel has been working on the Linux support for more than six months, the experience is still not ideal.
Earlier this month Intel had introduced their new Core i3 and Core i5 (and even Pentium) processors in the Clarkdale family. Clarkdale and Arrandale (the mobile version of the former) is more unique than some of the other recent Intel Core processors as it introduces a graphics processor on the CPU die itself. Unlike the Lynnfield launch where we were provided with Core i5 750 and Core i7 870 processors to provide Linux-based benchmarks on launch day, this was not the case with Clarkdale. As a result, while Intel's Clarkdale Core i3/i5 processors have been around for a week, there haven't been any real Linux benchmarks of these new processors published on the web.
While Moblin 2.1 was released in early November, today at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Intel Corp just putout the Moblin 2.1 IVI FC release. Moblin 2.1 IVI FC marks this as being the "feature complete" version in this release series. This release particularly is intended for Intel Atom Z530 + US15W platforms, but the open-source OS is using the VESA display driver by default due to Intel's non-free and much criticized Poulsbo driver.
Intel has just put out its quarterly update to their X.Org DDX driver. This new driver is xf86-video-intel 2.10.0 and it delivers on dropping all support for user-space mode-setting (using kernel mode-setting is now a must), KMS video overlay support (when using the Linux 2.6.32 kernel or later), new debugging options, many bug-fixes, and support for the new Intel Pineview chips.
Less than two weeks ago the first release candidate for the xf86-video-intel 2.10 driver was released, but now the second release candidate can be obtained from its Git repository. Not a whole lot of work has been committed to the Intel DDX driver since xf86-video-intel 188.8.131.521, but 184.108.40.2062 is out there and testing is appreciated.
Intel demonstrated today their "single-chip cloud computer" processor that offers an impressive 48 cores. While there are 48 cores on a single chip, this Intel processor only consumes as much power as two standard household light bulbs (this "futuristic" processor is operating between 25 and 125 Watts). However, before getting too excited, this is an experimental processor that is coming out of their research labs.
For the past year we have been documenting the Intel Poulsbo Linux driver and how it is a bloody mess on the basis of it being a binary-only driver (in comparison to their fully open-source stack for their other IGPs) that is not well maintained, is not easy to procure outside of Ubuntu, and is ridden by other problems. Intel though is not solely at fault because the GMA 500 "Poulsbo" chipset is actually a product of PowerVR.
There's just a month left until the end of the year, which gives Intel just a few weeks to deliver its Q4'2009 driver update for the Linux platform. The key component that Intel is expected to release in December will be the xf86-video-intel 2.10.0 driver, while they will likely recommend Mesa, libdrm, and Linux kernel updates too as part of their fourth quarter package (Linux 2.6.32 and Mesa 7.7). While no groundbreaking features are introduced in this X.Org driver update, there is important work taking place.
Two years ago Ubuntu began supporting LPIA, or the Low-Power Intel Architecture. LPIA is i386, but with different compile-time optimizations. LPIA was in use by the Ubuntu Mobile project with Intel's recent mobile CPUs supporting this lower-power architecture. Tests we carried out earlier this year at Phoronix showed Ubuntu's LPIA-based MID spin can conserve 10%+ power. However, Canonical is now abandoning this Intel architecture.
In September during the Intel Developer Forum we learned that Moblin 2.1 would be coming in Q4'09 (just one quarter after the 2.0 release) and would present the Moblin Application Installer, Moblin Garage, and other improvements. Sure enough, Moblin 2.1 has arrived now and it's only the middle of the fourth quarter.
Yesterday we reported on a new Linux driver coming for Intel's Poulsbo chipset that is currently notorious on Linux. This graphics processor is found in many Atom-powered netbooks, but its binary driver is a mess. We found out this morning though many more details on this special driver, which uses the Gallium3D architecture, supports the Moorestown and Sodaville hardware, uses TTM memory management, supports kernel mode-setting, and overall looks like it is much better than the current Poulsbo driver stack. With this new driver stack that's timed to launch with Moorestown, the Gallium3D component is remaining closed-source while the DRM and DDX remain open -- with the DRM code supposedly going after mainline inclusion again (the current version was already rejected). However, the details continue to keep streaming in today.
Yesterday afternoon we ran a story on a new Linux driver for the Intel Poulsbo chipset, which right now is known for being notorious with its troubling Linux support. However, Intel apparently had been working on a new "special driver" that the Linux Foundation was showing off recently in Munich at a mobile development camp. Many details were not shared on this forthcoming driver, which reportedly will be released with Intel's soon-to-be-out Moorestown platform, but this morning we have a surprising number of details on this "special driver" from Intel. Martin Mohring of the Linux Foundation, who was the one showing off the Poulsbo driver on the two Moblin netbooks from the videos shown yesterday, sent over some intriguing details to Phoronix this morning.
While we are not sure yet what Intel's special Poulsbo driver means yet, we do have some firm information to report this weekend on another new Intel driver: a new Intel i965 driver for Gallium3D is coming.
Intel's Poulsbo Linux driver is a bloody mess. The Poulsbo chipset is known commercially as the GMA 500 that's found in many netbooks as of late, but it isn't actually an Intel design but the graphics processor design was licensed from PowerVR. With that, there is no open-source driver but just an ill-maintained binary blob that is notorious among Poulsbo customers. The Poulsbo DRM, which is open-source but without any open-source client (driver), was previously rejected from entering the mainline kernel as well. The situation for Intel's GMA 500 on Linux is not good, but could this soon be changing?
Back in September the Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers had released the xf86-video-intel 2.9.0 driver as their quarterly update, but unlike previous updates that brought KMS, GEM, UXA, and other new features, the 2.9 release wound up just being a major bug-fix release. Providing further fixes, the xf86-video-intel 2.9.1 driver was released over the night.
868 Intel news articles published on Phoronix.