Intel Preps Some Big Graphics Driver Improvements For Linux 5.19

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 27 April 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT. 3 Comments
Intel open-source engineers sent in their initial batch of "drm-intel-gt-next" updates to DRM-Next today destined for the Linux 5.19 merge window.

Today's pull request is a rather hearty assortment of Intel graphics driver updates for Linux 5.19.

This pull brings more enablement work for Intel Arc Graphics DG2/Alchemist. There are two new user-space API additions. With one of these additions is support for reading a binary table describing the GPU configuration directly from the firmware blob. Another there is new user-space API sysfs support for multi-tile platforms.

The DG2/Alchemist additions go along with what I wrote about recently that it's looking like Linux 5.19 could be the base requirement for good DG2/Alchemist graphics support.

Exciting with this pull is finally landing of the patches that enable per-client GPU usage reporting in user-space such as for intel_gpu_top. This is the patch work we've been talking about the past four years and after multiple stalls is now to be mainlined in Linux 5.19. It's been a long time coming but great to see it finally supported with the Intle driver. Other DRM drivers may support the interface too for allowing user-space software to handle this per-client GPU reporting across drivers.

Improvements to the Intel driver's frame-buffer pinning logic now allows for Wayland's Weston compositor to be able to deliver 60 FPS rendering on 8K displays.

The Intel GuC (graphics micro-controller) code has also matured to the point of feature parity with being able to handle error capture state after GPU hangs. There is also GuC preparations around DG2/Alchemist.

Graphics System Controller (GSC) support for discrete Intel graphics hardware is also added. This GSC support for Intel dGPUs is needed for firmware management, protected media path, and similar tasks.

There are also numerous bug fixes in this pull, including for a possible GPU hang on Tiger Lake and newer when using multiple media engines.

Last but not least the Intel DRM/KMS graphics driver continues to be refactored for allowing the driver to build (and eventually run) on non-x86 hardware. Due to the prior focus just on Intel integrated graphics, there wasn't the use-case for supporting Intel graphics driver support on non-x86 hardware. But now with server accelerators and discrete graphics cards, Intel is working on making their driver work for other Linux supported architectures like AArch64 and RISC-V.

See this pull for the list of Intel patches mailed in today for DRM-Next.
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