Intel Bringing Async Page Flipping To Older Graphics Hardware

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 9 January 2021 at 12:11 AM EST. 5 Comments
With Linux 5.11 the Intel Linux graphics driver is bringing async page-flipping for Gen9/Skylake and newer. However, patches pending for a future release (potentially 5.12) would extend that performance benefiting feature now all the way back to the Ironlake days.

Async page flipping allows avoiding an extra blit per frame for full-screen games/applications. This can provide obvious performance benefits and has been a long time coming for the Intel Linux graphics driver. While the initial implementation in Linux 5.11 is for Skylake Gen9 graphics and newer, it can be implemented going back to Ironlake and that's what new patches have wired up.

Ironlake graphics are found with the Intel Clarkdale/Arrandale processors from 2010. So basically the CPUs with integrated graphics of the past decade will be able to make use of async flipping.

These patches wire up the support at just under 300 lines of new code. Let's hope the review and testing goes well for those on older Intel Gen graphics. For the newer graphics, I'll be working on some Intel async page-flipping tests off Linux 5.11 shortly.
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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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