Intel Sends Out Rocket Lake Linux Graphics Driver Patches - Confirms Gen12 Platform

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 1 May 2020 at 03:12 PM EDT. 10 Comments
A day after announcing the 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake" S-Series CPUs, the Intel open-source engineers have volleyed their first patches for bringing up the graphics on next-gen Rocket Lake.

The initial set of 23 patches were just sent out for bringing up the i915 Linux kernel driver with Rocket Lake. This re-uses the driver's existing code paths for Tiger Lake / Gen12, thus adding in Rocket Lake comes in at just over 700 lines of code.

For now at least there are six different PCI IDs for graphics on Rocket Lake.

Compared to Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake has different memory characteristics, five universal planes for display purposes, a third DPLL for use when driving three displays concurrently, and other code changes. No other juicy details were revealed by the patches with the earlier Tigerlake/Gen12 work having done the heavy lifting.

The initial patches are now out there. This initial Rocket Lake graphics support will likely be queued up in time for the Linux 5.8 kernel cycle with its merge window opening in June and releasing in August. Intel traditionally does a very good job at ensuring their graphics driver support is well in order ahead of the products actually shipping.

The Rocket Lake CPUs to succeed Comet Lake are still expected to have 14nm CPU cores but now with the much improved graphics over the aging Gen9. Additionally, Rocket Lake is expected to have PCI Express 4.0, USB4 / Thunderbolt 4, and other improvements. Previous leaks have suggested Rocket Lake would have the "Xe Graphics architecture", which is now confirmed by these driver patches indeed pointing to Gen12 graphics.
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