In Linux graphics news unrelated to the recent ATI/AMD excitements, Intel has just released the xf86-video-intel 18.104.22.1681 driver. This driver is meant to serve as the first release candidate for what will become xf86-video-intel 2.3.0. The biggest change since the 2.2 release is that the XvMC support has been merged to master! Intel's open-source XvMC implementation currently works with the Intel 915, 945 and G33 IGPs, but the 965 XvMC support is currently problematic. Intel's XvMC support was previously found in a separate development branch. Aside from these video playback improvements, the Intel 2.3 RC1 driver has many bug-fixes, a few added quirks, code cleanups, and other improvements.
Intel's Eric Anholt has been working on pulling Render improvements for the Intel 965 IGP chipset out of the intel-batchbuffer branch of the xf86-video-intel driver and pushing them into the mainline driver. These mainline Render improvements aren't yet there, but Eric has the code right now in his personal Intel git repository on FreeDesktop.org. Stopping this work right now are color correctness issues.
The xf86-video-intel 2.2.1 driver update has been in the cooker now since this past December, and today on the eve of FOSDEM it has finally been released. The Intel 2.2.1 X.Org video driver is a maintenance release that addresses a large number of bugs since the release of the 2.2.0 driver. Not all blocker bugs were addressed for this release, but an Intel 2.2.2 driver update is possible (permitting enough interest). The next major xf86-video-intel driver update will come in the way of version 2.3. This next update is expected to reduce mode-setting flickers and deliver on other improvements. The xf86-video-intel 2.2.1 driver release announcement can be read on the X.Org mailing list.
We've known since last month that Intel's X.Org display driver would be having a v2.2.1 release soon, and it now looks like it will be released this week. No new features will be introduced until the Intel 2.3.0 driver, but the 2.2.1 release will address a variety of outstanding bugs. Jin Gordon is calling for those in Intel's new driver testing program to test out the latest code in the xf86-video-intel-2.2-branch while using the latest DRM, Mesa, and Xserver components. Presently there are three bugs attached to the Intel 2.2.1 blocker bug.
Last May Intel had introduced PowerTOP as an open-source utility for monitoring a system's power consumption and making recommendations on how to reduce the power consumption thereby extending the battery life for mobile devices. Today, however, Intel has announced a new sibling for PowerTOP: LatencyTOP. Intel's LatencyTOP is a tool geared for developers that are interested in visualizing system latencies. LatencyTOP is able to detect where system latencies are originating and displaying the maximum and average time needed for each task. We'll be exploring this new open-source utility further and will report our results on LatencyTOP in the near future. More information is available from LatencyTOP.org.
Intel's Gordon Jin has announced today that the Intel graphics driver team is looking to establish a closer relationship with the Intel X.Org community of both end-users and engineers. To do this, Intel has created a new community testing program. This Intel testing program is designed to help in the testing of platforms not officially supported by the Intel validation team and bugs that are only experienced in very specific hardware/software configurations.
Intel's Zhenyu Wang has announced the creation of the "xvmc" branch in the xf86-video-intel driver. This new branch features code clean-ups relating to X-Video Motion Compensation (XvMC) and a new framework that will support greater hardware media decoding functionality in the future. The xvmc branch is designed to replace the earlier "xvmc-i915" branch. In addition, libIntelXvMC.so replaces libI915XvMC.so. Along with this new branch and framework, an XvMC option has been added to Intel's driver for the xorg.conf to disable this feature, which comes enabled by default.
The Intel X.Org 2.2.0 Driver was released just about a month ago, but a bug-fix v2.2.1 release is planned for the near future. Jesse Barnes mentioned on the FreeDesktop.org mailing list that the 2.2.1 release will address some of the recent regressions in this open-source Intel video driver. There is a 2.2.1 blocker bug, which currently has five open bugs (another five are already closed), but the two major regressions that this release will cure is X-Video crashing and a pipe enable bug. The Intel EXA performance issues will not be fixed until a later release.
We knew that a new Intel driver was coming and now the xf86-video-intel 2.2.0 driver has finally arrived. This new Intel driver for X.Org closes over 160 bugs (with 96 bugs left to squash), but xf86-video-intel 2.3 should address even more bugs. This new Intel display driver requires X server 1.4, Mesa 7.0, and the DRM module. The release announcement can be read on the X.Org mailing list.
It's been six months since Intel had introduced their xf86-video-intel 2.0 driver for graphics adapters on X.Org and two months since their most recent release (v2.1.1), but we are on the heels of a new Intel driver release. The Intel X.Org video driver will soon reach version 2.2.0 and contains a number of fixes and other enhancements since the xf86-video-intel 2.1 release. Among the many changes include defaulting to EXA as opposed to XAA, 965 IGP fixes, and improved support for G33/35 integrated graphics. Most of the changes, however, are just fixes. Just about 15 minutes ago, Jesse Barnes of Intel had bumped the driver version to 2.1.99, which will be the testing pre-release prior to the xf86-video-intel 2.2 introduction. Jesse had confirmed this information on the X.Org mailing list. Of course, once the Intel 2.2 X.Org driver is introduced, we'll be sure to let you know (you can also be notified by subscribing to our RSS feed).
Mobility talks definitely dominated Intel's Developer Forum last month with information from Montevina and Moorestown to the next-generation Mobile Internet Devices from various vendors. However, talks on multi-core computing definitely ranked high (along with PCI Express 2.0, PCI Express 3.0, and USB 3.0). With technologies like Intel Threading Building Blocks 2.0, Pervasive DataRush, it's time to prepare for a world of massively multi-core computing. Multi-core computing is here and it's here to stay. From assisting in real-time 3D surgery simulations to on-the-fly computerized language translations, many cores will be required.
Have you had your eyes on a computer upgrade with Intel's forthcoming X38 Chipset? Over the course of the next week we will be looking at Intel's new X38 Chipset under Linux and Solaris as we look at the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe and the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 (this motherboard isn't even being announced until the 10th). Among the Intel X38 features include PCI Express 2.0, dual PCI Express x16 slots, Intel Core 2 Quad 1333MHz 45nm CPU support, and removing the overclocking protection from the motherboard. We'll tell you in these first two articles how Intel's X38 works with Linux and whether it's worth the upgrade over Intel's P35 Chipset.
In addition to the PCI Express 3.0 details, information on the next generation USB standard -- USB 3.0 -- were also shared by Intel in San Francisco. The USB 3.0 specifications will be finalized in the first half of 2008, but it will offer backward compatibility with existing USB 1.1/2.0 devices, ten times the performance of USB 2.0, energy efficiency improvements, and support for copper and optical interconnects. A USB 3.0 Promoters Group was also announced by Intel, which includes names like Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Microsoft, and Texas Instruments. The first USB 3.0 adapter was also showcased at IDF Fall 2007.
While running through the information we recorded from the Intel Developer Forum this past week in San Francisco, we didn't comment really on PCI Express 3.0 but wanted to share some additional details from IDF. While native PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards aren't even available yet, PCI Express 3.0 will over twice the bandwidth of PCI Express 2.0, which makes PCI-E 3.0 four times the bandwidth of PCI-E 1.0. PCI Express 3.0 also supports data re-usage, dynamic power management, backwards compatibility, and atomic operations. The release specifications for PCI Express 3.0 will be available in 2009 while PCI-E 3.0 products aren't expected until 2010. Meanwhile, Intel's Xeon 5400 Chipsets and Intel's X38 Express Desktop Chipset will support PCI Express 2.0 this year.
Next week Phoronix will be providing live coverage from the Fall 2007 Intel Developer Forum (IDF) taking place at the Moscone Center. We'll be covering everything from Harpertown / Stoakley benchmarks to Intel's Moblin project and Ian Murdock's speech on Solaris (Project Indiana). There will also be a technology showcase. However, we'd like to hear from you what else you would like covered at the Intel IDF this fall. Check out the Fall 2007 IDF website and then let us know in the Phoronix Forums what you would like to see covered.
On Wednesday we reported on Intel driver fixes for graphics tiling on the 965 chipset (GMA 3000/X3000). Today another batch of commits hit the xf86-video-intel driver (there were 10 commits in the past 6 hours) that should finally fix tiling on the 965 and enabling it by default on this video chipset. Other fixes and code cleaning had also went into this latest round of open-source work. See all of the latest details at FreeDesktop.org.
Two commits to the Intel X.Org driver address previous issues with this open-source driver and the Intel 965 (GMA 3000/X3000) Chipsets. Copying of memory blocks of the sf_kernel when a mask is needed has been corrected by David Airlie. Intel 965 Chipsets with the latest Intel X.Org git code can now handle composite acceleration to A8 destinations. There is, however, high overhead with the Intel compositing setup that results in a text-rendering slowdown. All of the latest Intel X.Org information is available from the xf86-video-intel git.
On the Phoronix Forums we have now created a forum dedicated to the discussion and support for Intel's X.Org driver and their other Linux software projects (such as PowerTOP). This is similar to our AMD (Open and Closed) and NVIDIA forums. Previously discussion had taken place in our other sub-forums. We have started moving the appropriate posts into this new Intel Linux forum and you can check out the new forum here. Contact us with any comments or suggestions you may have.
Yesterday we told you about the latest work with the Intel X.Org driver and today there is another batch of commits to the xf86-video-intel driver. INTEL_VERSION_MAJOR / MINOR / PATCH has been defined using PACKAGE_VERSION_*, fixing pitch in Prepare* functions, fix EXA rendering with tiled front buffer on pre-965 GPUs, and merging branch "origin".
Committed to Intel's X.Org driver git tree (xf86-video-intel) has been four updates in recent days. Ending off July was a commit that added back-light support for the 965GM and also a check to make sure legacy-enabled systems don't reduce the range of user-presented back-light values. Improvements made to the Intel open-source graphics driver earlier today include tiled rendering and fbc fixes, merging the master branch, and limiting solid and copy offsets to 4k when rendering to tiled targets. The latest code and summary of changes are available through the FreeDesktop.org gitweb.
There's been the GNOME Mobile and Embedded Initiative and the Ubuntu Mobile Initiative, but now Intel has started their own mobile Linux initiative. This initiative is to develop open-source software for the Intel Mobile Internet Device and other consumer electronic devices. Intel's Moblin project is currently made up of the Linux kernel, UI framework, browser, multimedia framework, and embedded Linux image creation tools. The Moblin project is of course geared towards devices with Intel's architecture, but it will be open to competing architectures as well. Additional information can be found at the Moblin project site.
Aside from introducing the Core 2 Duo E6550, E6750, and E6850 processors and the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 quad-core processor, Intel has today announced the first-ever Core 2 Extreme processor that is targeted for mobile laptops. This new mobile processor is dual-core, but next year Intel hopes to introduce quad-core processors for consumer notebooks that will be battery friendly. The mobile Intel Core 2 Extreme X7800 processor is clocked at 2.6GHz, but Intel has even unlocked the over-speed protection so that OEM manufacturers have the ability to overclock this mobile processor.
It appears that later this month Intel will be announcing a new technology that will be open-source. Phoronix has been invited to an Intel party where this technology will be unveiled. This party and dinner consists of an insider group of bloggers and journalists in Portland, Oregon during Ubuntu Live and OSCON 2007.
Over at Kernel Trap is an article on how Intel's Core 2 processor series has a number of serious bugs. Some of these Intel Core 2 bugs will even be exploitable by user-land code. While BIOS updates can address some of these problems, BIOS vendors are usually late in issuing these updates and Intel Corporation isn't so quick to help out Linux and the alternative operating systems.
Today Intel has released the Intel C++ Compiler and Fortran Professional Editions that are designed to simplify and speed software development for multi-core processors. These two software products combine the use of vectors and threads and uses loop transformation to accelerate your software on multi-core processors. The Intel C++ Professional Edition and Fortran Compiler Professional Edition is available for Linux as well as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The press release is available here. Intel today also announced its new Chipsets at Computex, the press release for the Intel Express G33, Q33, P35, Q35, and X38 is available in the Phoronix Forums.
PowerTOP is a new open-source Linux utility available from Intel, which analyzes how well your laptop computer stacks up for power savings. In fact, PowerTOP will even provide which applications are consuming the most power and thus draining your battery. This tool will hopefully allow developers to optimize their applications for maximum power savings. Intel's PowerTOP works best using the Linux 2.6.21 kernel or later due to the tickless kernel feature. More information is available from this Intel website.
This morning Intel has finally rolled out its upgraded Centrino platform, which for months has been known by enthusiasts as "Santa Rosa". Some of the benefits for Intel's Santa Rosa include a faster bus, draft 802.11n WiFi, and new Core 2 Duo processors. Phoronix will be looking at an Intel Santa Rosa notebook under Linux and Solaris very shortly.
ZDNET and APCMAG are reporting some interesting details today from the Intel camp. One of the details surfacing is Intel Enhanced Dynamic Acceleration Technology (or EDAT for short), which will increase the clock speed of a single Intel Core 2 Duo core depending upon the load. If you are running a single threaded application, the new Intel Core 2 Duo will be able to clock down the core not being utilize while increasing the speed of the active core (like overclocking, but Intel says it's all part of their specification). Enhanced Dynamic Acceleration Technology will appear on Intel's Santa Rosa platform. Santa Rosa will also include draft 802.11n connectivity along with Intel Turbo Memory. This new mobile platform is expected by the end of June. On the other hand, ZDNET's report details a new mobile Internet device being manufactured by Intel that runs Linux. Intel calls this UMPC-like creation a MID, or Mobile Internet Device, and will have a small screen along with a dual-core processor running between 600MHz and 800MHz.
Today Intel has extended its quad-core family with the introduction of the Core 2 Quad Extreme QX6800. This quad-core desktop processor will set you back $1,200 USD but runs at 2.93GHz and has a total of 8MB of L2 cache. We are working on providing Linux coverage of the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 shortly, but in the mean time you may be interested in our Intel Penryn and Nehalem information.
Intel has today announced new quad-core Xeon processors that are a miracle at 50 Watts! These new energy efficient processors dramatically reduce the power consumption of the original Xeon 5300 Clovertown processors. These new Xeon processors are the Intel L5320 and L5310. The press release is available here. Our original Xeon 5300 Clovertown preview is also available.
973 Intel news articles published on Phoronix.