Intel Publishes Initial Linux Driver Patches For New "Display13"

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 28 January 2021 at 02:09 PM EST. 9 Comments
Intel's open-source driver developers have begun posting patches for bringing up "Display13" as their next-gen display IP that looks like it will be introduced after the upcoming Rocket Lake / Alder Lake / DG1 platforms.

Patches surfaced for a first time today in the context of this new "Display13" block as their newest display intellectual property. Display13 is described as "a pretty natural evolution" from Display12 as found with Gen12 graphics hardware in the likes of Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake, DG1, and Alder Lake S. The code out today is not introducing any new platform support but is just laying the groundwork around the new Display13.

Display13 brings a plane configuration identical to Rocket Lake (5 universal planes and one cursor plane), improved under-run recovery, support for plane strides up to 128KB, power management improvements, and up to 255 watermark lines compared to the prior limit of 31. One interesting anecdote from the patches is with Display13 hardware when the system has Intel VT-d support enabled has bandwidth usage of the display higher by 5%.

The initial Intel Display13 patches are now out there for review but again not terribly interesting at this stage as it isn't in tandem with any new platform support yet. But this does raise the hopes of seeing new Intel platform support soon -- after all, the Rocket Lake and Alder Lake Linux graphics support has been getting squared away and especially in the case of new generation of Intel graphics they tend to publish the initial kernel patches at least a year or more in advance often times to allow everything to get squared away nicely ahead of launch.

Intel's timely open-source Linux driver support for nearly all hardware remains a superb aspect as part of their great open-source work and also generally allows time to get those bits into all the major tier-one Linux distributions before the hardware is shipping to consumers. We know Display13 is past Alder Lake S so this does put it perhaps at its successor, Meteor Lake. Meteor Lake isn't due out until late 2022 or 2023 and has been referred to as having Xe Gen "12.722" graphics. It's also possible Display13 will first be found in one of their upcoming discrete graphics card offerings past DG1.
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