HDR Display Support Coming To Some Intel Gen9 Graphics On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 29 March 2020 at 01:42 AM EDT. 12 Comments
For the very common Intel "Gen9" graphics found on pretty much all current pre-Icelake hardware that is available through retail channels, high dynamic range (HDR) display support could soon be enabled under Linux for a subset of devices.

Intel developer Vipin Anand on Friday sent out the latest patches for the Intel i915 Linux DRM kernel driver to enable HDR display support.

This HDR support is contingent upon the Gen9 graphics being on a motherboard with a supported LSPCON ASIC. The "Level Shifter and Protocol Converter" chip found integrated into various motherboards/laptops can allow for HDR signaling over HDMI but to now hasn't been supported under Linux.

This Intel Gen9 HDR display support for Linux depends upon the LSPCON chip being manufactured by Megachips America (MCA). Some motherboards use a Parade Technologies LSPCON controller that is not supported by these HDR patches. The Intel CPU with Gen9 graphics also needs to be Kabylake or newer.

It's too late to see these Gen9 HDR patches for Linux 5.7 but hopefully these patches will be signed off for queuing in Linux 5.8 later this summer. This Intel HDR display support has been available from their Windows 10 driver since Kabylake was new hardware but sadly has taken a while on Linux along with the fact the HDR support under Linux generally lagging years behind Windows across hardware vendors/drivers and not a lot of Linux desktop software yet embracing HDR capabilities.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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