Habana Labs AI Driver Updates Submitted For Linux 5.15
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 10 September 2021 at 01:57 PM EDT. 1 Comment
LINUX KERNEL --
While last week was the main "char/misc" pull request for the Linux 5.15 merge window, the Habana Labs driver changes were previously reverted from there due to opposition from the upstream kernel developers in the Direct Rendering Manager space. The concerning patches around DMA-BUF have now been removed and a new pull request submitted with updates to this AI driver for Linux 5.15.

The original Habana Labs AI driver code for Linux 5.15 was strongly objected by DRM kernel developers as it was trying to push through DMA-BUF changes without the approval of the DRM developers and at the time also lacking any open-source user-space software.

This morning was the surprise of Habana Labs open-sourcing their LLVM-based AI code compiler and SynapseAI Core. While there is now the open-source user-space code for Habana Labs hardware that goes along with their AI kernel driver, the revised pull request for Linux 5.15 still lacks the DMA-BUF bits.

DRM co-maintainer Daniel Vetter of Intel already commented that the DMA-BUF code should go through the proper review process on the DRI development mailing list. He's also suggesting moving forward to potentially reposition the Habana Labs AI driver under drivers/gpu/habanalabs rather than living within char/misc.

Daniel added, "There's still the problem that we spent the past 2.5 years pissing off a lot of people for an imo questionable political project, bypassing all the technical review and expertise. Now that the political nonsense is resolved I think we need to look at at least the technical cleanup. The angered people are much harder to fix, so let's maybe ignore that (or perhaps a ks topic, no idea, I'm honestly not super motivated to rehash this entire story again)."

Anyhow, today with the new char/misc pull request are the Habana Labs driver changes for Linux 5.15 sans the DMA-BUF bits.

New to this open-source AI acceleration driver in Linux 5.15 is support for firmware reset, support for 64-bit user mappings, the ability to disable huge-page usage, various firmware handling updates, a new wait for multiple command submission user-space API, state dumping support for Gaudi, and a variety of other improvements and fixes.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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