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ASpeed AST2600 BMC Support For DisplayPort Landing In Linux 5.19

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  • ASpeed AST2600 BMC Support For DisplayPort Landing In Linux 5.19

    Phoronix: ASpeed AST2600 BMC Support For DisplayPort Landing In Linux 5.19

    The "AST" DRM/KMS driver for ASpeed chips in Linux 5.19 is adding support for DisplayPort outputs... Leading to the era of hopefully seeing more servers with DisplayPort outputs to eventually replace VGA that is still very common on server platforms for display purposes...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...ort-Linux-5.19

  • #2
    So does the ASpeed AST2600 contain a GPU?
    Is it licensed IP or an in-house developed GPU?
    Is it compatible with OpenGL? Like even OpenGL 1.1?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by uid313 View Post
      So does the ASpeed AST2600 contain a GPU?
      Is it licensed IP or an in-house developed GPU?
      Is it compatible with OpenGL? Like even OpenGL 1.1?
      It's display hardware only.

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      • #4
        Servers dropping VGA? Blasphemy!

        But in seriousness, about time. Most new monitors no longer even offer VGA.

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        • #5
          I'm pretty sure that enablement of AST2600 started around 2 years ago, when I bought a X470-D4U2-2T for a home server. That board features an AST2500 and thus no DisplayPort - and I detest analog VGA for LCD monitors. I thought about waiting for an AST2600 board - glad I didn't.

          Unfortunately all these BMC graphics really only support output and are utterly unaccelerated. I'd really like to get BMC functionality and a tiny Radeon GPU - preferably in the same chip - that is enough for simple desktop usage and doesn't require much power. But I don't think there is such a thing.
          Maybe the Ryzen APUs would work - but I'm unsure if their output can be routed through the BMC and its network support ...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rob72 View Post
            Servers dropping VGA? Blasphemy!

            But in seriousness, about time. Most new monitors no longer even offer VGA.
            Wishful thinking: servers with single usb-c that carries video, keyboard, mouse and power for external monitor + keyboard (and maybe mouse).
            We need every square cm on server front and back plates free to get more air to flow through the chassis ... no big archaic connectors there anymore, please.

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            • #7
              Where I see this as a real win - and I've told my Dell account team the same - is if they go with a Mini-DP or USB-C socket. For most 1U/2U servers (potentially with a bit of rearranging of other connectors) those much smaller sockets should free enough space for a second OCP 3.0 mezzanine slot. That's a much bigger deal than just excising a legacy, analogue video connector.

              The Mini-DP is a bit less durable, but given the application (infrequent, temporary use) I'm certain that wouldn't be an issue. A lot to be said for USB-C allowing a single cable to a monitor with a USB hub built in though.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rob72 View Post
                Servers dropping VGA? Blasphemy!

                But in seriousness, about time. Most new monitors no longer even offer VGA.
                You tend to not buy monitors for servers; you buy rackmount terminals. (Nifty foldy things that tend to fit in a 1u)

                https://www.rackmountmart.com/prodsp...1u17-18-lg.jpg

                However they are extremely costly so it is worth holding onto existing kit and it is very unlikely people will be happy arbitrarily having to replace them just for a different shape port that offers no additional benefits to graphics.

                Edit:
                Notoriously expensive in fact (Over £1,500 for a fairly well known brand):

                https://www.startech.com/en-gb/serve...t/rackcond1701
                Last edited by kpedersen; 06 May 2022, 05:45 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rob72 View Post
                  Servers dropping VGA? Blasphemy!

                  But in seriousness, about time. Most new monitors no longer even offer VGA.
                  https://www.amazon.com.au/FOINNEX-Co.../dp/B07121Y1Z3

                  The reality here is monitor no having VGA is not a major problem. Yes there are a ton of converters from vga to hdmi and these are used in server farms to use vga out servers with hdmi KVM over ip items.

                  Biggest issue against staying with VGA is the size of the port yes space on backs of servers is a issue.

                  Second issue is power consume VGA is about 10x worse than either hdmi or displayport that not driving a converter. This small power difference sounds minor until you have around 10000 servers at that point the VGA ports extra power difference have taken the power of 1 server(yes a smaller server). Yes the higher power of the VGA as well causes more EM interference risk that can effect performance. Think the item like the Siliconmotion SM750 that you can get in m.2 form factor that vga out that you are now running a vga output close to core areas of motherboard and something on the motherboard and not quite as protected from EM as it should be so you end up with a head scratcher of a performance problem to track down.

                  So over time there should be a move away from vga in the server space but with the amount of legacy there are costs in changing over.
                  Last edited by oiaohm; 06 May 2022, 05:55 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kpedersen View Post

                    You tend to not buy monitors for servers; you buy rackmount terminals. (Nifty foldy things that tend to fit in a 1u)

                    https://www.rackmountmart.com/prodsp...1u17-18-lg.jpg

                    However they are extremely costly so it is worth holding onto existing kit and it is very unlikely people will be happy arbitrarily having to replace them just for a different shape port that offers no additional benefits to graphics.

                    Edit:
                    Notoriously expensive in fact (Over £1,500 for a fairly well known brand):

                    https://www.startech.com/en-gb/serve...t/rackcond1701
                    I'm quite familiar with those 1U rackmount LCD monitor/keyboards. But we stopped using them years ago. It is just not worth cabling up VGA to 100's of servers. Instead we use the BMC to remotely connect to them. And in the rare instance that we do want to hook up a physical display, we have a crash-cart with a monitor and keyboard.

                    The size of the VGA port is an issue, especially on 2U and smaller form-factors where there is typically little space due to all the PCI slots, drive bays, and ventilation. So a smaller connector (mini-DP or indeed USB-C) would be good. Some server vendors are using custom breakout cables with VGA and USB just to save real-estate.

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