Intel Linux NPU Driver v1.5 Released - Now Validated On Arrow Lake & Lunar Lake

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 20 June 2024 at 01:15 PM EDT. 3 Comments
Intel on Wednesday released version 1.5 of their Linux NPU driver, their user-space driver component for Linux systems in enabling the neural processing unit found with Core Ultra "Meteor Lake" processors and newer. This goes along with their upstream IVPU kernel accelerator driver for allowing a full open-source solution for AI workloads with the likes of OpenVINO.

This Intel Linux NPU Driver v1.5 succeeds their v1.2 release from March. However, there is no change-log/details to provide a concise look at the changes for this user-space Intel NPU driver. But it is interesting to note unlike prior versions they have now published a compatibility/support matrix. This new compatibility/supportm atrix with the Linux NPU Driver v1.5 confirms now that upcoming Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake SoCs are working with this open-source software stack. This new release paired with the Linux 6.8 kernel, oneAPI Level Zero 1.17.2, and OpenVINO 2024.1 is reported to be working for these upcoming Core Ultra processors. That's in addition to the stable support that Intel has provided for Meteor Lake since last December's launch.

Intel Meteor Lake laptop

It's great seeing Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake now confirmed to be working with Intel's public and open-source NPU driver stack ahead of launch. Going back to Linux 6.6 there was initial support in the IVPU kernel driver for Lunar Lake and that kernel driver code has continued in versions since. Meanwhile AMD still hasn't yet attempted to upstream their XDNA Linux kernel driver first posted earlier this year to GitHub nor commented too much on their mainline timing/plans for getting this support upstream and adopted by more software. Intel is winning the AI race when it comes to the timely open-source and upstream driver support for their NPUs and other hardware.

Those wanting to download the Intel Linux NPU Driver v1.5 source code or pre-built Ubuntu binaries can find them via GitHub.
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