WarpDrive Proposed For The Linux Kernel: A Generic Accelerator Framework
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 1 August 2018 at 07:22 AM EDT. 10 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
HiSilicon is looking to add WarpDrive to the Linux kernel. Not to be confused with anything from Star Trek, WarpDrive is a generic accelerator framework they have been developing.

WarpDrive is a proposed generic accelerator framework built off VFIO that exposes the accelerator's capabilities directly to user-space -- and in turn allows user-space to directly interact with the accelerator hardware, bypassing the kernel mechanisms and cutting down the latency as a result.

If WarpDrive is paired with the tentative kernel patches providing shared virtual memory support / shared virtual addresses to IOMMU, multiple processes can be supported per accelerator otherwise there's a limit of one process to one accelerator. HiSilicon has been testing Linux WarpDrive with one of their accelerator boards.

More details on WarpDrive can be found via this patch series. It's too late to get reviewed in time for Linux 4.19, but perhaps we'll see WarpDrive for Linux 5.0.

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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 10,000 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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