Intel Graphics System Controller Support Getting Buttoned Up For Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 7 February 2022 at 03:00 AM EST. Add A Comment
While much of the Intel DG2/Alchemist open-source driver support has already been upstreamed into the Linux kernel, Mesa for OpenGL and Vulkan, and related components like IGC and Compute-Runtime, there are various bits still pending ahead of the Intel Arc graphics cards set to make their debut in the next few months. One of those pieces still working their way upstream is enabling the GSC block, the Graphics System Controller.

Toward the end of last year Intel began posting Linux patches for the GSC controller that is used for enabling HDCP media protection for their discrete GPUs along with other secure tasks and handling of firmware updating. The GSC ties into Intel's Management Engine Interface (MEI)

The Graphics System Controller support on Linux hasn't yet been mainlined, but the fifth iteration of the patches have been published. It does appear though that the enablement work is settling down and the patches could be merged in as soon as the v5.18 kernel. These "v5" patches just re-base the patches plus add an all-important "reviewed-by" tag with Greg Kroah-Hartman now okay'ing the work. Thus it's quite likely to be merging soon -- likely with this next kernel cycle.

The Intel GSC is treated as an MEI auxiliary device to serve as a chassis controller for Intel's discrete graphics cards. In the new INTEL_MEI_GSC build-time switch the Intel GSC is summed up as being responsible for graphics card firmware updates and "security tasks" -- which includes media protection for selected devices.

See the v5 patch series if wanting to learn more about the Graphics System Controller for upcoming Intel discrete graphics cards.
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