Intel's Open-Source Arc Graphics Driver Not Yet Working On POWER Hardware
In the past with only having integrated graphics, the open-source Intel Linux driver hasn't had to care about non-x86/x86_64 architectures since their graphics processors were only tied to x86 cores. But now in the discrete graphics world, we've seen some work by Intel engineers on improving the build-ability of their driver for Arm / RISC-V / POWER but not everything is buttoned up yet.
A Phoronix reader tweeted about his recent experience in buying an Arc Graphics A770 with hopes of using it on his POWER system. POWER9 has a special place in the hearts of many open-source enthusiasts thanks to Raptor Computing Systems with their Talos II server and micro-ATX Blackbird systems. These POWER9 systems can run on fully free software down to the microcode and board schematics being open.
Learn Intel ARC A770 the hard way. It’s seems to me i915 module does not support anything but X86 on Linux. I try to hack KConfig to force it to compile but there are a bit of dependencies. I hope the future driver would remove the coupling. cc @phoronix pic.twitter.com/oUP7VDaTNv— 中 Ле́ (@runlevel__5) November 3, 2022
Unfortunately for Arc Graphics, the current i915 Linux kernel module isn't yet building cleanly for POWER. While the Phoronix reader is hopeful the Intel driver support for POWER will improve, for now he ended up returning the A770 over the lack of being able to get the driver working on his non-x86 system.
Raptor's Blackbird with POWER9 CPU.
Surely with time the Intel Linux graphics driver support for non-x86 architectures will improve -- certainly at least for RISC-V and Arm with Intel engineers having made some strides there already and hopefully lifting POWER too.