Intel Sends Out Latest DG1 Linux Patches But Won't Hit Until At Least The 5.11 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 30 September 2020 at 08:42 AM EDT. Add A Comment
INTEL --
The sixth spin of Intel DG1 discrete graphics card patches have now been sent out for review, amounting to just about 700 lines of new driver code due to building off the existing DG1 work and more broadly the Gen12/Xe support that's been refined in mainline for months. With these patches it would appear the Intel DG1 is then in good shape under Linux but due to the timing is unlikely to be mainlined until a stable kernel release in early 2021.

Intel's Gen12 / Xe Graphics as found in Tiger Lake appears to be in good shape with the latest mainline code (soon to be tested at Phoronix) but for the DG1 discrete graphics card there have been patches lingering.

The latest patches sent out today in their sixth iteration enable the first two output ports on DG1 with the other ports still being worked on by the driver, support for power wells, bumping the MMIO size, enabling DPLL, and other key bits. In addition to the 0x4905 PCI ID, the patches also add in additional PCI IDs of 0x4906, 0x4907, and 0x4908 for DG1.

While we are accustomed to seeing Intel have their Linux graphics support ironed out ahead of launch, the tardiness of these DG1 patches is alright considering that with the initial DG1 launch it's been about getting the discrete hardware in the hands of developers and thus more likely and comfortable anyhow running development/unstable kernels, etc rather than consumers generally just running distribution defaults.

But the timing of these latest patches for review mean that these DG1 bits won't land for Linux 5.10 given that we're basically past the cutoff already of new feature code to queue in DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.10 merge window opening in the next week or two. Thus these DG1 patches will likely come with Linux 5.11 that will see its cycle kick off around the end of the calendar year but not release as stable until 2021. Linux 5.11 in turn will likely be the kernel to be used by Ubuntu 21.04 and other early 2021 Linux distributions based on their usual rhythm.

What will be more interesting is if in the next few weeks we begin to see any patches wiring up the initial Linux graphics driver support for DG2, Xe HP/HPC, or other discrete Intel Xe Graphics hardware. If Intel wants to see out-of-the-box support in the likes of Ubuntu 21.04 for their market-ready graphics cards they plan to launch next year, they will need to begin posting those patches soon so the review process can get underway and see the work queued for the Linux 5.11 cycle. Or if they are looking more at H2'2021 for their more widespread discrete graphics debut, there's still more time to go, but given Intel's cadence over the past decade on delivering good Linux graphics support in time for launch day, we will hopefully be seeing new patches surfacing soon.
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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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