NVIDIA GA103 Support Posted For Open-Source Nouveau Linux Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 3 August 2022 at 01:44 PM EDT. 16 Comments
Merged last year into the Linux kernel's Nouveau DRM driver was initial support for GeForce RTX 30 "Ampere" GPUs initially in the form of the GA100 and GA102 parts. That support for the moment is still limited to just mode-setting/display support with 3D still being tackled, but now a patch has been posted that rather trivially extends the support to cover the GA103 GPU too.

The GA103 is used by the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and Red Hat's Karol Herbst today posted a patch enabling it within the Nouveau DRM driver. The 22 lines of code that has the GA103 using the existing Ampere GA100/GA102 code paths is enough to get this GPU lighting up at least on this open-source, reverse-engineered NVIDIA DRM driver.

But don't get too excited since up through Linux 6.0, the Ampere support is still limited to display functionality. NVIDIA back in April finally posted the signed firmware needed for Ampere support for 3D hardware acceleration. Ben Skeggs, Karol Herbst, and the others on Red Hat's graphics team are now working on enabling Ampere 3D support with Nouveau.

Karol Herbst recently commented in the forums that they do have Ampere OpenGL working on Nouveau, but that it wasn't readied in time for Linux 6.0. Thus it looks like Linux 6.1 is when there will be the initial 3D acceleration support in place. But it remains to be seen how good it will be relative to the proprietary driver especially if running into the same re-clocking challenges as recent generations of NVIDIA GPUs.

Given the timing of this GA103 patch, that and the Ampere accelerated support will likely both come in Linux 6.1. Alternatively, the GA103 support could be considered a new enablement "fix" and sent in still for Linux 6.0 since it doesn't risk regressing existing hardware support.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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