The DRM Changes For The Linux 4.14 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 16 September 2017 at 06:57 AM EDT. 2 Comments
With the Linux 4.14 merge window period combined with the fact of the DRM pull request having been submitted early this cycle, I didn't have a chance to provide a recap of the Direct Rendering Manager changes for 4.14. Here's that overview for those not in tune with the many individual articles that had been written about the different Linux 4.14 graphics driver changes.

Highlights of the DRM changes in Linux 4.14 include:

- Initial hugepage support for Vega on AMDGPU 4.14. This should help boost the Vega performance in Vulkan and other workloads.

- Other Vega improvements for AMDGPU, but no DC display code support yet so you will still need to rely upon out-of-tree patches if wanting to drive a 4.14 kernel with a RX Vega GPU and display attached.

- Improvements to lower the overhead of AMDGPU command submission (CS) handling.

- The AMDKFD driver has been working on upstreaming more of their patches.

- The Nouveau DRM driver now has GP108 (GeForce GT 1030) mode-setting support but without acceleration.

- HDMI CEC support for the Raspberry Pi VC4 driver driver. There are also atomic fixes and other improvements.

- The Intel DRM driver has a lot of work done on the Cannonlake "Gen 10" graphics enablement. The Intel DRM code also now supports the DRM synchronization object API. There are also GVT virtualization performance improvements, better GPU reset, and other low-level improvements.

- The Tiny DRM code now has support for the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 LCD and Pervasive Displays RePaper displays.

- VMware's VMWGFX DRM driver now supports the fence file descriptor.

- Runtime power management improvements for Freedreno's MSM driver.

- The Tegra DRM driver is prepping for Tegra186 (Jetson TX2) support and now also supports PRIME mmap'ing.

- HDMI improvements and CEC support for the Allwinner Sunxi driver.

- More DRM core work around atomic mode-setting and its helpers.

- Improvements to the synchronization object API "syncobj" that was introduced in Linux 4.13. Among other purposes, the synchronization object API will be used by the Intel / RADV Vulkan drivers.

Stay tuned for Linux 4.14 graphics benchmarks to come in the days ahead.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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