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Graphics: OpenVINO, AMDGPU and Zink

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  • Intel Releases OpenVINO 2021.1 With Tigerlake Support, Expanded Capabilities

    Ready to move past the tumultuous year that is 2020, Intel's open-source developers responsible for the OpenVINO toolkit today issued version 2021.1 with some big ticket additions.

    While it's only October 2020, OpenVINO 2021.1 is out today with support for 11th Gen Intel Core (Tigerlake) processors and Xe Graphics, TensorFlow 2.2.x support, the OpenVINO Model Server for distributing models across cloud/edge environments, and expanding beyond just computer vision.

  • AMDGPU Linux Kernel Driver Support Posted For The "Dimgrey Cavefish"

    At the end of September there were Mesa patches posted for the "Dimgrey Cavefish" at the same time as also posting VanGogh APU support for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver. The AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support has now been posted for the Dimgrey Cavefish.

    The Dimgrey Cavefish is another RDNA2 part alongside Sienna Cichlid and Navy Flounder.

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Back To Caching

    I’m back, and I’m about to get even deeper into zink’s descriptor management. I figured everyone including me is well acquainted with bucket allocating, so I skipped that day and we can all just imagine what that post would’ve been like instead.

DXVK 1.7.2 Released

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  • DXVK 1.7.2 Released With Many Fixes For Direct3D Atop Vulkan

    DXVK 1.7.2 was just released as this popular library for mapping Direct3D 9/10/11 atop the Vulkan API primarily for accelerating Windows games on Linux via the likes of Steam Play (Proton) and Wine.

    DXVK 1.7.2 brings fixes for various Direct3D 9 crashes, workarounds for rendering issues with AMD drivers for some Unity games, support for disabling log files, and various game-specific fixes/improvements.

  • D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 to Vulkan translation layer DXVK release 1.7.2 is up

    Developer Philip Rebohle announced today the release of DXVK 1.7.2 to further improve the D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 to Vulkan translation layer.

    Used with Wine, and part of the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer, it's great to see it still moving along. This is the first release since August and while it's technically a minor release in versioning, the actual fixes included look to be quite important.

    There's a "major" regression fixed for D3D9 titles that caused crashes in many games, a fix for D3D9 crashes on AMDVLK due to invalid Vulkan API usage, they've worked around some stack overflows in some 32-bit D3D9 games, a workaround is now in place for rendering issues on AMD drivers in some Unity Engine games, another workaround is added for Unicode on Windows "being garbage" and you can disable log files being created.

Blender 2.90 Performance With GeForce RTX 3080, 18-Way NVIDIA CUDA/OptiX Comparison

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Complementing yesterday's large GPU compute comparison with the GeForce RTX 3080 across many different workloads, today's article is looking at the Blender 2.90 render performance for this consumer Ampere $699+ graphics card.

Like with the numbers shown yesterday, the GeForce RTX 3080 is a serious upgrade over the RTX 2000 Turing series and older generations. With this Blender 2.90 comparison and testing the CUDA and OptiX back-ends, the comparison GPUs are going back to the GeForce GTX 900 "Maxwell" era hardware.

Blender's CUDA performance remains great but the OptiX back-end really screams when it comes to performance on NVIDIA RTX GPUs where the RT cores can be exploited for great performance. The cards tested for this comparison based on availability included...

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NVIDIA 455.28 Released

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  • NVIDIA 455.28 Released As Stable Linux Driver For RTX 3080/3090

    Last month marked the release of the 455.23.04 beta driver for NVIDIA Linux users in providing support for the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards. The NVIDIA 455.28 Linux driver is out today as their first official 455 series release and also stable RTX 3080/3090 Ampere support.

    On top of the NVIDIA 455 series supporting the Ampere RTX 30 series, the driver series for Linux users also adds VDPAU VP9 10/12-bit support, improved base mosaic support, support for the NVIDIA NGX updater, Vulkan additions, and more.

  • NVIDIA driver 455.28 is out for Linux, new GPU support and lots of bug fixes

    NVIDIA have produced a brand new stable Linux driver with version 455.28, which adds in new GPU support and there's plenty of fixes for us too.

    This is a proper mainline stable driver, so it should be good for anyone to upgrade with. A lot of this is coming over from previous Beta releases.

    With this new 455.28 driver it sees official Linux support for the GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3090 and the GeForce MX450. That's not all that was added. In this release they hooked up support for a new device-local VkMemoryType which is host-coherent and host-visible, which they said may lead to better performance for running certain titles with the DXVK translation layer like DiRT Rally 2.0, DOOM: Eternal and World of Warcraft. It also adds NVIDIA VDPAU driver support for decoding VP9 10- and 12-bit bitstreams.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Offers Up Incredible Linux GPU Compute Performance

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Yesterday I finally received a GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card from NVIDIA for being able to deliver the first of our Linux benchmarks on the new RTX 30 Ampere series. What is immediately clear is the huge performance uplift for OpenCL and CUDA workloads with the RTX 3080 compared to its predecessors. The raw performance and even performance-per-dollar is staggering out of the GeForce RTX 3080 with the initial tests carried out on Ubuntu Linux. Linux gaming benchmarks will be out in the days ahead but for now is a look at the RTX 3080 compute performance across dozens of benchmarks and going as far back as the GeForce GTX 980 series for comparison.

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Awesome – A Next Generation Framework Window Manager for X

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Awesome is a highly configurable framework window manager for X. It is designed to be fast and customizable and is mainly targeted at developers, power users, and even everyday computer users who want to have fine-grained control on their graphical environment for computing tasks.

One of the features that sets Awesome apart from others is the fact that it is the first window manager using the asynchronous XCB library instead of the synchronous Xlib. This makes Awesome less subject to latency compared to its alternatives.

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Also: Freedesktop: The Most Important Group in Desktop Linux

NVIDIA: Ubuntu, SUSE and Red Hat Collaborations

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  • NVIDIA’s Ariel Kit Explains How NVIDIA BlueField DPUs Are Redefining Data Center Services

    NVIDIA is redefining the data center around the concept of data processing units (DPUs): powerful network cards running Ubuntu out of the box that combine hardware and software to deliver new classes of cloud architectures – in the data center and at the edge. 

  • Canonical expands collaboration with NVIDIA to bring AI to the edge

    Canonical has been working closely with NVIDIA for many years to fuel innovation and support open source software with the power of accelerated processing. That already allowed us to jointly deliver GPU acceleration into Linux, OpenStack and container workloads on traditional datacenter servers.

    We continued working together, with Ubuntu forming the base operating system for NVIDIA DGX systems, including the latest NVIDIA DGX A100 system. Today we are announcing the support of a new class of acceleration at the edge, on the NVIDIA EGX Edge AI platform, powered with Ubuntu. 

  • NVIDIA Unveils $59 USD Raspberry Pi Competitor With Jetson Nano 2GB

    Last year NVIDIA announced the Jetson Nano at $99 USD as their lowest-priced ARM SBC board to date focused on inference, robotics, and other GPU-accelerated tasks in a small, low-power form factor. The Jetson Nano at $99 USD is already significantly cheaper than the other numerous Jetson boards over the past several years while now today they are introducing a $59 board.

  • NVIDIA delays launch of GeForce RTX 3070 until end of October

    It seems NVIDIA don't want a repeat of what happened with the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 as they've delayed the launch of the GeForce RTX 3070.

    When both the 3080 and 3090 launched they sold out within only a few minutes, and pretty much every store went down at some point due to the demand. This was obviously frustrating for anyone wanting to get a card, since a lot of bots appear to have grabbed them. NVIDIA themselves offered an apology on what happened in the case of the 3080 launch noting that the demand was simply unprecedented and that they saw " 4 times the unique visitors to our website, 10 times the peak web requests per second, and more than 15 times the out clicks to partner pages" when compared to previous launches.

  • SUSE Partners with NVIDIA on AI Journey From the Edge to Core to Cloud

    Today, SUSE stated its support of the announcement of the NVIDIA EGX AI platform which other key independent hardware vendors and software infrastructure providers have also endorsed.

  • Red Hat extends collaboration with NVIDIA to optimize infrastructures across the hybrid cloud

    As an increasing number of applications and related complexity put unprecedented demands on computing infrastructures, our customers are realizing that the future of computing needs to be more heterogeneous in nature; a single technology, no matter how innovative, cannot address all the requirements of modern, let alone future computing.

    Keeping a large number of systems running smoothly is a hard problem, and special devices are often required to help run well-balanced and optimized data center infrastructure. These devices, called data processing units (DPUs), employ an easily programmable multi-core CPU, a state-of-the-art network interface and a powerful set of networking, storage and security accelerators that can be programmed to perform multiple software-defined, hardware-accelerated functions.

Linux Kernel and Graphics Developments

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  • Intel Prepares Linux Kernel Support For Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX)

    Following the announcement this summer of Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) as an exciting feature coming to Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs next year, Intel's open-source engineers quickly began with patches to LLVM and GNU toolchain support for AMX. Now Intel engineers have sent out their patches in preparing the Linux kernel for AMX.

  • Linux 5.10 Receiving New Driver For Chromebook "Vivaldi" Keyboards

    For a while now there have been references to "Vivaldi" as a new Chromebook keyboard firmware for future devices. References in Chromium OS repositories have pointed to expanded keyboard layouts and other new features with Vivaldi. Coming with the Linux 5.10 kernel is now a new HID driver for supporting some of the differences with Vivaldi.

  • AMD Sends Out Initial Linux Graphics Driver Support For The "Green Sardine"

    AMD has been sending out a lot of new Linux graphics driver enablement code recently for the Linux with the newest being the "Green Sardine" platform. 

    Green Sardine is for bringing up a new APU platform with their Linux graphics driver code. The new code treats the Green Sardine platform under existing Renoir family code paths but the principal code differences are for loading different firmware files on the Green Sardine versus Renoir. There isn't any other major alterations with the new Green Sardine code sent out today and still Vega-based. 


  • Mesa Developers Discuss The Possibility Of Rust Graphics Driver Code

    A proposal is being discussed over the possibility of beginning to make use of the Rust programming language within Mesa 3D for this open-source OpenGL/Vulkan driver stack along with the likes of Gallium3D video acceleration. 

    Just days after it was brought up that AMD is hiring Rust developer(s) for working on graphics driver tooling, Mesa developers coincidentally are also discussing prospects of Rust code within Mesa. 

Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance On The Linux 5.8 Kernel

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Given that Ubuntu 20.10 will be shipping with Linux 5.8 out-of-the-box along with other autumn 2020 Linux distributions where Linux 5.9 is landing too late, here is a fresh comparison of several different AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" and Intel Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors on this current stable kernel release for seeing how the performance is standing up as we approach this next round of Linux distribution releases.

Ubuntu 20.10 benchmarks on various server and mobile/desktop platforms will be coming later this month while this article is more broadly providing fresh reference figures of the AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon performance for Linux 5.8. This newer kernel is also important as we move closer to the release of the next-generation Intel Xeon "Ice Lake" and EPYC "Milan" processors for newer hardware support/compatibility. It's also fun providing this fresh look when thinking about how the server landscape may evolve with those upcoming launches. Plus this article has some new/updated test profiles (benchmarks) compared to some of the past server CPU benchmark articles.

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Kernel: Greg Kroah-Hartman and Zink

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  • Computers Are Hard: hardware with Greg Kroah-Hartman

    I asked Greg Kroah-Hartman to tell me about the work that goes into making computer peripherals do — mostly — what we ask them to. Greg is the maintainer of the Linux kernel’s stable releases and an author of books about writing Linux drivers. He took me on a journey from a tiny processor embedded in a mouse to deep inside the guts of an operating system.

    Oh, and he explained printers to me, too.

  • Perhaps You Thought I Was Finished

    This test loops 5000 times, using a different sampler texture for each draw, and then destroys the texture. This is supposed to catch drivers which can’t properly manage their resource refcounts, but instead here zink is getting caught by trying to dump 5000 active resources into the same command buffer, which ooms the system.

    The reason for the problem in this case is that, after my recent optimizations which avoid unnecessary flushing, zink only submits the command buffer when a frame is finished or one of the write-flagged resources associated with an active batch is read from. Thus, the whole test runs in one go, only submitting the queue at the very end when the test performs a read.

  • Automate

    Today I’m taking a break from writing about my work to write about the work of zink’s newest contributor, He Haocheng (aka @hch12907). Among other things, Haocheng has recently tackled the issue of extension refactoring, which is a huge help for future driver development. I’ve written time and time again about adding extensions, and with this patchset in place, the process is simplified and expedited almost into nonexistence.

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