DRM Changes To Look Forward To With Linux 4.12: Vega, Atomic Intel, Accelerated Pascal

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 12 April 2017 at 03:03 PM EDT. Add A Comment
With the end of feature material for DRM-Next having passed for Linux 4.12, here is a look at some of the changes you will be able to find with the Direct Rendering Manager code when the cycle begins for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

Some of the DRM highlights we've been monitoring for code that's now staged in DRM-Next until the Linux 4.12 merge window in the next few weeks includes:

- Intel's DRM driver has now enabled atomic mode-setting by default and this affects Ironlake hardware and newer. The Intel driver also has GuC and HuC refactoring , GPU reset improvements, power management alterations, and the usual assortment of changes. There are also GVT-g changes.

- AMD has landed initial Vega10 GPU support for the upcoming Radeon RX Vega GPU launch expected at the end of May. But For Linux 4.12 this doesn't include any Vega display support as DC (formerly DAL) wasn't ready to merge in time. Thus Vega with a vanilla Linux 4.12 kernel would only be useful for compute-type scenarios. DC support will come later thereby enabling Vega display support, so at-launch you'll either need to spin your own kernel from a DC branch or use the AMDGPU-DRM driver.

- There is also an assortment of other AMDGPU changes including GPU sensor support, SR-IOV improvements, PRT support (needed for ARB_sparse_buffer support), TTM memory management improvements, and more.

- With this AMDGPU DRM-Next code we have been seeing some performance improvements across different hardware.

- Initial accelerated Pascal support on Nouveau. While this GTX 1000 series support has landed, it still requires new signed firmware image binaries recently released by NVIDIA. Additionally, similar to Maxwell, this Pascal Nouveau support lacks re-clocking so the performance is expected to be quite slow.

- Nouveau also has GP10B support, a.k.a. the Tegra X2 Pascal GPU found on the Jetson TX2 developer board.

- Freedreno's MSM driver has 4k display support for newer hardware.

- Mediatek MT2701 display support.

- VC4 HDMI audio support is in place as a big win for Raspberry Pi users.

- Various improvements to Etnaviv, the reverse-engineered Vivante driver.

Those are the DRM highlights slated for Linux 4.12 that come to mind based upon our past coverage. Stay tuned for more Linux 4.12 kernel feature coverage when the merge window opens up around month's end.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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