Linux 5.17 To Bring DRM Privacy-Screen Support, Intel VESA PWM Backlight Handling

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 18 November 2021 at 09:10 AM EST. 2 Comments
The Linux 5.16 merge window now past, an initial batch of changes from drm-misc-next has been sent in to DRM-Next for queuing until the Linux 5.17 cycle kicks off around the start of the new year.

This first batch of drm-misc-next updates for DRM-Next and destined for Linux 5.17 includes items such as:

- Support for built-in electronic privacy screens appearing in more laptops. This includes introducing a new privacy-screen class, x86-specific initialization code, notifier support, and related bits. This infrastructure allows for other drivers to register themselves as a privacy-screen provider and so it can be associated as a specific GPU/connector combination having this functionality exposed as a DRM property for enabling/disabling from user-space. As covered previously, the GNOME desktop and others are ready to make use of this privacy-screen DRM interface. The Lenovo ThinkPad ACPI driver is the initial driver prepared to interface with this new privacy-screen class while other vendors like Dell should be close behind.

- The Intel i915 driver adds support for VESA panel backlights. This is about handling of laptop panel backlights that are PWM-based via the VESA backlight control protocol. Currently the laptops with VESA PWM-based backlights tend to be hybrid laptops but that isn't always necessarily the case.

- Frame-buffer console support for the Intel Keem Bay "KMB" DRM driver.

- The Simple DRM driver adds support for virtual screen sizes and FB_DAMAGE_CLIPS.

- The Broadcom VC4 DRM driver adds support for 4K@60Hz modes. This will be useful for the Raspberry Pi 4 and later for driving a 4K display at 60Hz.

It's a nice assortment of changes to kick off the next round of material building up in DRM-Next. Expect more exciting work in the weeks ahead including the big Intel and AMD Radeon feature pulls over the next month and a half working on new hardware support and other additions.

The list of initial drm-misc-next patches sent in today can be found on the mailing list.
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