Linux 6.6 Graphics Drivers: NVK uAPI, New AMD GPUs, More Meteor Lake, CI Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 31 August 2023 at 06:39 AM EDT. 4 Comments
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem updates for the Linux 6.6 kernel to provide new features for the number of kernel graphics drivers and other AI accelerator drivers within the mainline kernel.

David Airlie submitted the DRM driver updates for Linux 6.6 and there are a number of notable additions this kernel cycle on the open-source graphics front.

Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card

While NVIDIA plays games with their binary blobs in their walled garden, the open-source and upstream kernel drivers from the likes of Intel and AMD continue advancing:

- There is support for a number of new AMD GPU IP blocks added with Linux 6.6. Among the new hardware IP blocks are SDMA 6.1, HDP 6.1, SMUIO 14.0, PSP 14.0, and IH 6.1. These versions may end up correlating to RDNA3 graphics refresh "RDNA3.5" for what is expected to be found in Ryzen 8000 series APUs/SoCs and/or it could also be early enablement around what will be coming with RDNA4 graphics cards. In any event it's great seeing AMD continuing to upstream these new IP blocks early for ensuring good open-source and upstream support by launch day.

- AMD FreeSync Panel Replay is being merged as an alternative to Panel Self Refresh (PSR) for laptop displays.

- AMDGPU now exposes the current and average power for more GPUs.

- AMDGPU DC building for RISC-V of that display code.

- Continued work on Intel Meteor Lake graphics.

- Some new Intel tuning kobs for better performance.

- Initial support for the Lunar Lake VPU4 with the IPU accelerator driver.

- The GPU VA Manager landed and is being used by the Nouveau driver as part of the new user-space API additions for the NVK Vulkan driver.

- VirtIO sync object support.

- Support gamma LUT with the VKMS driver.

See this pull request, which has already been merged to mainline, for the full list of DRM driver changes for Linux 6.6.

A secondary pull also adds DRM Continuous Integration (CI) support at long last to the kernel. This is in hopes of better testing around the DRM/GPU drivers for the kernel. Among the highlights on the CI side:
Maybe a bit more on what scenarios I see over the next 1-2 year for this.

0. Utter Failure:

Currently we have the bad combo of shit drivers/shit igt tests/shit ci, and the eye-gauging PR here is really just surfacing this mess and bringing it into the spotlight. if things don't improve at all, and we're still at the same point in 2 year as we are now, this was a failure and drm/ci needs to be unceremonuously deleted.

I might head out and pick up goat farming in the alps in this case :-/

Linux 6.6 GPU benchmarks for Intel and AMD will be coming up on Phoronix after the merge window is over.
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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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