Open-Source Graphics Driver Updates For Linux 5.11 Have Lots Of Intel + AMD Presents

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 13 December 2020 at 01:25 PM EST. 12 Comments
While there are a lot of driver improvements throughout, as usual those on Intel HD/UHD/Iris/Xe Graphics and AMD Radeon graphics with their first-rate open-source graphics drivers have a lot of grand improvements to find with the forthcoming Linux 5.11 cycle.

While Linux 5.10 isn't even out yet (it should be released tonight barring any last minute problems), due to Direct Rendering Manager co-maintainer David Airlie of Red Hat going on holiday for the next week, he sent in the DRM feature pull early to Linus Torvalds. This includes all of the big ticket features expected on the DRM side with the Linux 5.11 cycle.

The DRM subsystem highlights for Linux 5.11 include a lot of AMDGPU and Intel improvements plus core infrastructure work and ongoing enhancements to the smaller drivers:

- Initial support for the graphics on AMD Van Gogh APUs, which are a combination of Zen 2 CPU cores with RDNA 2 graphics and sporting (LP)DDR5 memory support.

- Initial support for Green Sardine APUs is also new. This might be the Ryzen 5000 "Cezanne" APUs. Green Sardine, unlike Van Gogh, is based on Vega/GFX9 rather than Navi/RDNA2.

- Support for Dimgrey Cavefish as additional RDNA2 discrete GPUs but not the recent Radeon RX 6800/6900 series that are Sienna Cichlid. Dimgrey Cavefish might be for the lower-end RDNA2 SKUs.

- Various other improvements to AMDGPU DRM like Scatter/Gather for Renoir, various power optimizations, and improvements for GCN 1.1 hardware too.

- Intel has continued with their "DG1" discrete graphics card enablement work with a wide assortment of improvements there.

- Intel Integer Scaling support finally arrives for Linux users now that the Kodi HTPC software is making use of it from user-space as an initial test case / client of it.

- Intel Big Joiner has landed for allowing 8K outputs over a single port and other cases where two pipes need to be joined together for one port.

- Intel async page-flipping is another prominent addition for their open-source graphics driver.

- Meanwhile Intel's old GMA500 DRM driver for "Poulsbo" display support has dropped its 2D acceleration code for being a mess.

- The Qualcomm Adreno MSM driver has LLCC system cache support and other improvements.

- Mediatek MT8167 support has been added.

- The removal of the AGP-specific code in TTM.

- TTM multihop support and other TTM memory management reworking.

- The new TTM allocator driven by the AMDGPU folks.

- The DRM FBDEV code has been marked as orphaned with no one currently caring for that code.

- A new DRM driver this cycle is Intel Keem Bay display support for that SoC that is part of their VPU effort.

There are not any significant open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) changes part of this pull... Thus no RTX 30 / Ampere support yet nor any GTX 900 Maxwell or newer re-clocking support... But perhaps we'll finally hear more from NVIDIA in 2021 on their open-source plans...

The full list of changes for the DRM Linux 5.11 pull can be found via the kernel mailing list. This pull alone has 397k lines of new code (and 18.7k deleted lines) but the bulk of that are new AMDGPU header files as a result of the new graphics support. Plus there is the new Keem Bay driver and other changes but purely on the L.O.C. basis it's in large part due to the AMDGPU new hardware support.
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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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