Intel Already Posts First Open-Source Graphics Driver Changes For Linux 4.21~5.1

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 2 November 2018 at 08:07 AM EDT. 22 Comments
The merge window isn't even over yet for the current Linux kernel cycle that will end in late December or early January, but Intel's stellar open-source crew responsible for their kernel graphics driver have already sent out their first set of changes to DRM-Next for what will start 2019 with either the Linux 4.21 cycle or 5.1 depending upon how the 4.20~5.0 versioning is decided.

The Intel Open-Source Technology Center team remains on point with their kernel contributions in a timely manner thanks to their large development team and also excellent continuous integration for ensuring the code is well tested and ready when submitted to DRM-Next. Jani Nikula of Intel sent in their first set of drm-intel-next changes for targeting the 4.21/5.1 cycle.

This pile of code has the preliminary work on VESA Display Stream Compression for bandwidth savings in preparing for emerging displays beyond 5K resolutions. This DSC support will be quite important for users moving forward and with this first kernel of 2019 will be the initial bits.

The Intel developers also remain quite busy on bringing up the Icelake "Gen 11" graphics support that is still a ways out from the hardware shipping. So far for this next cycle is DSI enabling, some necessary new workarounds, and various other display related bits for the Cannonlake successor. It's looking like the Icelake open-source Linux support will be squared away well in time before the hardware ships potentially at the end of 2019.

Other work for this merge includes some GEM memory management updates, various code clean-ups, enabling PSR1 panel self refresh by default on Gen9+, improved DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST), HDCP 2.2 preparations for content protection, DisplayPort updates, plane alpha blending support, and a wide variety of other fixes.

The lengthy list of these initial changes for the i915 DRM code in 4.21~5.1 can be found via this -next PR. Expect several more pull requests to DRM-Next in the weeks ahead.
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