Intel Begins Preparing Linux Graphics Driver Support For Xe HP As "Gen12.5"

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 1 December 2020 at 03:18 PM EST. 2 Comments
Xe HP is Intel's discrete GPU aiming to compete against the latest-generation AMD and NVIDIA compute accelerators. Xe HP isn't scheduled to reach general availability until well into 2021 while now as they begin ramping up their sampling of Xe HP to potential customers, the Linux open-source driver support is preparing to roll-out.

While Xe HP is about scaling up Intel Xe Graphics (Gen12), the Xe HP driver support is introducing it as a new "Gen12.5" target rather than just "Gen12" that is used by Tiger Lake / Rocket Lake / Xe LP.

Merged today was the code preparing the Mesa driver build infrastructure for building "Gen12HP" as "Gen12.5". Follow on merge requests will further build out this Gen12.5 support. The developers compared Gen12.5 to the Ivy Bridge Haswell transition that went from Gen7 to Gen7.5.

This code that merged today is over seven thousand lines of new code into the Intel common code as well as various changes to their Iris Gallium3D and ANV Vulkan drivers. Much of that though is the auto-generated XML code of Gen instructions that for now appears to be largely the same as Gen12.

This code plus whatever else lands until the end of January on the user-space side for the OpenGL/Vulkan will land with Mesa 20.1 due out in March. We haven't seen any "Gen12.5" DRM kernel driver changes yet but due to the cutoff for DRM-Next material to hit Linux 5.11 having just passed, don't expect any Xe HP / Gen12.5 specific additions until Linux 5.12.

It will be interesting to monitor the Gen12.5 changes coming to see what all may be changed with this update to Gen12 compared to the current Xe support. But for now that's all, so stay tuned.
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