While we're still waiting until around the end of the year to see Broadwell processors, Intel's Open-Source Technology Center is already prepping Linux graphics driver code to begin pushing Skylake support into their driver stack.
Skylake is the successor to Broadwell that's expected to be out in late 2015 but could slip into 2016. Skylake is expected to be more of a SoC design layout with the PCH integrated onto the die and will be launched in conjunctiuon with the Intel 100 Series "Sunrise Point" chipsets. Broadwell is expected to significantly boost the graphics capabilities over Haswell while Skylake will take the performance even further.
David Airlie of Red Hat has sent in his major feature pull request for the Linux 3.17 merge window. This DRM subsystem update does introduce a new DRM driver, but there isn't any changes for Nouveau as part of this change set.
The new DRM/KMS driver for the Linux 3.17 release is the STI KMS driver for STMicroelectronics with their STIH416 and STIH407 chipsets. Nouveau is missing out on changes for this pull request due to Ben Skeggs still tracking down a longstanding Nouveau issue but he's expected to send in a separate Nouveau pull request in the days ahead that will have the new improvements for the open-source NVIDIA driver.
The Intel DRM graphics driver will feature its usual large amount of changes with the in-development Linux 3.17 kernel.
Daniel Vetter of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has done his usual per-kernel-cycle blog post about the changes collected for the i915 driver that are being pulled for Linux 3.17. Among the new additions to the open-source Intel kernel graphics driver include.
NVIDIA today has announced their first beta Linux/Solaris/FreeBSD driver release in the 343.xx driver series. As expected, this release drops pre-Fermi hardware support from the Linux mainline driver code-base.
As we have known for months, those with GPUs older than the GeForce 400 "Fermi" series, you'll need to use NVIDIA's 340.xx legacy driver from here on out until you're able to switch over to the open-source Nouveau driver. The NVIDIA 340 legacy driver will still maintain support for newer Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases along with prominent bug-fixes, but won't otherwise receive new driver features, etc. NVIDIA's now maintaining multiple legacy drivers and they've been doing a good job at still supporting these drivers for vintage hardware for several extra years.
In continuing of yesterday's tests of comparing the OpenGL performance of the latest Radeon Gallium3D and Catalyst drivers with an array of AMD Radeon HD/Rx graphics cards, here's some complementary data including the performance-per-Watt and overall system power consumption for a few of the different AMD GPUs of recent generations.
With this being complementary data to yesterday's extensive raw OpenGL tests and this round only using a subset of the exposed graphics cards, it's just a one-page article today. For the Radeon HD 6770, HD 7950, and R9 270X I ran these additional tests from the Phoronix Test Suite while our open-source benchmarking software was monitoring the AC system power consumption using a WattsUp Pro power monitor, also PTS was calculating the performance-per-Watt, and the GPU temperatures were being monitored. However, on the Catalyst 14.6 Beta used for testing, the thermal monitoring seemed to be borked so the thermal results were limited to just the open-source driver.
The HID (Human Interface Device) pull request was sent in this morning for the Linux 3.17 merge window.
Jiri Kosina's HID pull request for Linux 3.17 features the following prominent work:
- The Sony HID driver features improved support for the SIXAXIS device support. The SIXAXIS gamepad line was part of the original Sony PlayStation 3.
The Radeon DRM driver changes have been published for queuing into drm-next before hitting the mainline Linux 3.17 kernel tree.
Among the exciting work to be found for the AMD Radeon graphics kernel driver in Linux 3.17 include:
- Good Hawaii support for the AMD Radeon R9 290 series. The R9 290/290X should now work with the open-source driver at long last, but besides Linux 3.17 you'll need newer microcode files and also the latest Gallium3D code. Once 3.17-rc1 has been tagged, I'll move ahead with my open-source Radeon Hawaii benchmarks on the R9 290.
- Support for a new firmware format to make updates easier to manage.
Over 200,000 lines of code is being removed from the Linux 3.17 kernel in the staging subsystem due to the removal of a bunch of old, unmaintained drivers.
Greg Kroah-Hartman shared that with the staging driver patches for Linux 3.17, there's over 39,000 new lines of code while over 254,000 lines have been removed. The big code delta comes from 14 different drivers being removed that were "obsolete and no one was willing to work on cleaning them up."
After last week running new Nouveau vs. NVIDIA proprietary Linux graphics benchmarks, here's the results when putting AMD's hardware on the test bench and running both their latest open and closed-source drivers. Up today are the results of using the latest Radeon Gallium3D graphics code and Linux kernel against the latest beta of the binary-only Catalyst driver.
Similar to the NVIDIA GeForce tests of last week, on the open-source side was the Linux 3.16 kernel with Mesa 10.3-devel and other updated graphics user-space using the Oibaf PPA on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x86_64. When benchmarking the proprietary Catalyst 14.6 Beta driver from mid-July, we had to pull back to the Linux 3.14 kernel for kernel compatibility with this binary blob release.