Intel Graphics Driver Low-Latency Scheduling Revived For A Smoother UX

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 2 February 2021 at 06:22 AM EST. 4 Comments
For the better part of a year now we've seen patches for Intel's kernel graphics driver working on fair low-latency scheduling that in part has been inspired by the design of BFS/MuQSS. While it's too late for seeing the work land with Linux 5.12, the latest batch of 57 patches were sent out this week.

Longtime Intel open-source driver developer Chris Wilson continues working on scheduling improvements for the Intel graphics driver. Among the work with the current set of 57 patches include the fair low-latency scheduling. This shouldn't impact Linux gaming performance but more so result in lower jitter when running multiple graphics applications on the desktop.

Also with the patch series is ring scheduling for Gen5 through Gen7 era graphics to ultimately allow for a smoother user experience and also the possibility of better power-savings. The patches also restore secure dispatch support on Gen6/Gen7 graphics.

We'll see if all this scheduling goodness for the Intel i915 kernel graphics driver manages to get into shape for the Linux 5.13 cycle this summer.

Separately another Intel kernel graphics driver patch series we are happy to see revived is the Intel per-engine busy state and clients via sysfs. This long pending work would allow for some useful per-process Intel graphics usage reporting. This would also be useful with the possible Intel graphics control panel for Linux that might materialize in 2021.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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