Intel's Linux Driver To Load HuC Firmware By Default For Icelake+

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 17 July 2019 at 12:15 PM EDT. 4 Comments
For several generations now of Intel graphics there have been the GuC/HuC firmware binaries while beginning with Icelake "Gen 11" graphics those binary blobs will be loaded by default.

Intel's GuC has been used for graphics workload scheduling while the HuC firmware provides some "media functions from the CPU to GPU" for different video codec functions and CPU-GPU synchronization among other abilities.

On the basis that the HuC firmware is needed to "unlock advanced video codecs" within the Intel media driver, the HuC firmware will now be loaded by default for Icelake/Gen11+ platforms. While HuC can be used on prior generations for HEVC/H.265, it's on Gen11 where they feel it's reliable enough to load by default.

They sent out the patch last week to enable HuC by default for Gen11+ and that change is likely to then appear with the Linux 5.4 kernel later this year.

Forcing the auto-loading of the HuC firmware for older platforms can be done via the i915.enable_guc module parameter or as well moving forward to disable the auto-loading behavior.
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