SNA Is Four Years Old - Intel's 3.0 X.Org Driver Still Unreleased

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 9 June 2015 at 09:19 AM EDT. 11 Comments
Besides Phoronix celebrating its 11th birthday, last week Intel's SNA 2D acceleration architecture had its birthday and turned four years old. While the xf86-video-intel 3.0 DDX driver release is to make SNA the default for 2D acceleration over UXA, there's still no signs of this release happening.

The xf86-video-intel 3.0 milestone has been talked about for nearly two years with the big change being using SNA by default. However, this release still seems like its indefinitely delayed with just seeing new development 2.99.9xx releases every so often. Though it's been a while since the last release: 2.99.917 came out six months ago.

Chris Wilson, the Intel OTC developer that spearheaded the "Sandy Bridge New Acceleration" architecture continues to be one of the last Intel developers actively working on the DDX driver. There's new commits happening often and it's generally in regards to continuing to tweak SNA.

Based on current communications, it seems there's no concrete plans for releasing xf86-video-intel 3.0 on any time-based schedule. There's also some developers that would prefer the driver to use GLAMOR acceleration with it providing generic 2D acceleration over OpenGL compared to SNA being a huge code-base and requiring extensive work to get suitable performance. With the latest graphics hardware, both the Radeon and Nouveau drivers are using GLAMOR by default. The Freedreno and Raspberry Pi VC4 drivers are also benefiting from GLAMOR.
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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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