Xilinx Moving Ahead With Plans To Upstream Their Alveo PCIe Accelerator Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 23 March 2019 at 07:17 AM EDT. 5 Comments
A few weeks back I wrote about Xilinx looking at contributing their Alveo FPGA accelerator drivers to the mainline Linux kernel. They are continuing to work on that goal and pushed out their latest kernel driver patches this week for these Alveo PCIe accelerator cards.

The Xilinx Alveo PCIe accelerator driver for Linux is already used in production by customers albeit now the company is comfortable with the idea of upstreaming the work into the mainline kernel. These accelerators can ultimately run C/C++/OpenCL using their specialty compiler or programmed using RTL. Xilinx Alveo is marketed for machine learning, video transcoding/processing, genomics, financial computations, database searching, and related big data fields.

On Tuesday the latest patches were sent out that amount to more than twenty-eight thousand lines of new kernel code for review. At this stage it's unclear how likely it would be to see this Alveo driver merged for the next cycle (Linux 5.2) or if it will end up taking a while with more rounds of code review. There's certainly been an uptick recently in seeing interest around accelerator driver support in the mainline Linux kernel, with Linux 5.1 the Habana Labs' Goya accelerator driver was merged and there's also been calls for a new accelerator subsystem we could see introduced as early as Linux 5.2.

This Alveo PCIe accelerator driver goes along with the company's XRT run-time software stack which is also open-source and can be found on GitHub.
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