Intel IPU6 Driver Being Upstreamed In Linux 6.10

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 16 May 2024 at 06:23 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Intel's Image Processing Unit (IPU) IP has been a cause for concern in recent years as the lack of proper upstream open-source driver support has led Linux users running into troubles making use of MIPI camera sensors on modern laptops. Finally with Linux 6.10 the Intel IPU6 driver is being upstreamed into the media subsystem.

The lack of proper, upstream Intel IPU6 support in the Linux kernel has been a headache for years. Back in 2022, kernel developers were recommending Linux users avoid Alder Lake laptops due to IPU6 issues. Greg Kroah Hartman wrote at the time:
"Ok, so getting this merged is a good year out at the best, realistically 2 years given that once you submit the first version for review, the real work will start happening.

So I'll stick with my original statement, don't buy this hardware as the vendors don't seem to want to upstream the drivers any time soon :("

Now just under two years later, the Intel IPU6 driver is finally going to land in the mainline Linux kernel. There's been seven revisions to the Intel IPU6 driver while now it's finally within the media subsystem's pull request for the Linux 6.10 merge window.

This driver supports the sixth-generation Intel Image Processing Unit so it can be used for capturing images from MIPI camera sensors. Intel developers have successfully used it with ov01a10 and ov2740 sensors so far. Intel IPU6 is used for image processing across Tiger Lake, Jasper Lake, Alder Lake, Raptor Lake, and Meteor Lake hardware.

Intel web camera

Do note that besides the Intel IPU6 driver going into Linux 6.10, there are also IPU6 firmware binaries also needed that have been in linux-firmware.git since earlier in the year. But now at least it looks like the Intel IPU6 used by many laptops over the past few years is finally onto seeing proper upstream Linux support.

The media pull request for Linux 6.10 also brings driver support for the Broadcom BCM283x/BCM271x hardware, continued cleaning to the Intel AtomISP driver, and other changes.
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