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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics Leftovers

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Graphics Driver Developers Begin Eyeing The Linux 4.18 Kernel

    The Linux 4.16 kernel is at least two or three weeks out from being released, but Intel has already submitted their i915 DRM driver feature changes for Linux 4.17 and are now beginning to think about their feature changes for Linux 4.18.

    Intel's feature changes for Linux 4.17 are now staged in DRM-Next with hitting that soft cutoff deadline ahead of the next kernel cycle. Intel Direct Rendering Manager updates for Linux 4.17 include Cannonlake "Gen 10" graphics now being considered stable, the very early bits of Icelake "Gen 11" support, and a lot of low-level code improvements. To little surprise, Linux 4.17 is looking like another exciting cycle on the feature/improvement front.

  • Intel BayTrail Gets Minor Graphics Improvement On Coreboot, Now Supports OpRegion

    While there doesn't appear to be too many Intel BayTrail users out there running systems with Coreboot, this generation of hardware that's been a bit notorious with Linux users due to varying issues can now find at least a bit better graphics support with the latest Coreboot code.

  • Mesa 18.0 Is Now Primed For Releasing Soon

    Mesa 18.0's delay of more than one month and without any new release candidate came while the open-source Intel developers were hunkered down to clear the remaining blocker bugs.

    Fortunately, it appears the remaining Mesa 18.0 blocker bugs are now resolved, meaning the official release could come in a matter of days depending if they decide to first do a Mesa 18.0-rc5 release for last minute testing.

  • Mir Devs Are Still Working On An Example Mir Desktop Session For Ubuntu 18.04

    While Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver" is just one month away from release, the developers working on the Mir display server code are still working to get an example desktop session into this release.

    Details remain light but in writing yesterday about changes the UBports' team needs to make for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS support, longtime Mir developer Alan Griffiths commented, "The Mir team is aiming to have the necessary tweaks in place for the 18.04 release along with an example "Mir" desktop session." The tweaks needed for Mir in Ubuntu 18.04 are not using Mir-on-Mir and client applications using libmirclient cannot be using EGL otherwise only software-based rendering will work.

  • Mesa 18.0 Has Been Off The Tracks For More Than One Month

    Mesa 18.0 had been due for release around mid-February, but that didn't happen and there hasn't even been a release candidate in more than one month.

    Mesa 18.0-RC4 was released back on 9 February and since then there hasn't been an RC5 or a new release.

  • Uniform Packing For RadeonSI NIR, Helps Reduce CPU Overhead

    Timothy Arceri of Valve's open-source Linux GPU driver team is out with his latest set of patches to further enhance the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

    Timothy's latest objective remains with improving the RadeonSI NIR back-end for using this modern intermediate representation alternative to Gallium3D TGSI. NIR is important for getting the OpenGL 4.6 bits in place with SPIR-V ingestion / better interoperability with the RADV Vulkan driver and the already-written code paths using NIR.

  • Supporting virtual reality displays in Linux

    At linux.conf.au (LCA) 2017 in Hobart, Tasmania, Keith Packard talked with kernel graphics maintainer Dave Airlie about how virtual reality devices should be hooked up to Linux. They both thought it would be pretty straightforward to do, so it would "only take a few weeks", but Packard knew "in reality it would take a lot longer". In a talk at LCA 2018 in Sydney, Packard reported back on the progress he has made; most of it is now in the upstream kernel.

    Packard has been consulting for Valve, which is a game technology company, to add support for head-mounted displays to Linux. Those displays have an inertial measurement unit (IMU) for position and orientation tracking and a display with some optics. The display is about 2Kx1K pixels in the hardware he is working with; that is split in half for each eye. The displays also have a "bunch of lenses", which makes them "more complicated than you would hope".

    The display is meant to block out the real world and to make users believe they inhabit the virtual reality. "It's great if you want to stumble into walls, chairs, and tables." Nearly all of the audience indicated they had used a virtual reality headset, leading Packard to hyperbolically proclaim that he is the last person in the universe to obtain one.

Sound Open Firmware (SOF) and Nvidia-Docker

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Intel Open-Sources Sound Firmware, Pushing For More Open Firmware

    Imad Sousou, Intel's GM of the Open-Source Technology Center, had some interesting remarks to make during his keynote today as part of this week's Embedded Linux Conference in Portland.

    First up, they have two new open-source project announcements: ACRN and Sound Open Firmware (SOF).

    Sound Open Firmware has us most excited with Intel's focus now on opening up more of their firmware, beginning with audio. Sound Open Firmware includes an open-source audio DSP firmware and SDK. The SOF stack works on all Intel hardware platforms and can assist in debugging audio/DSP issues.

  • A Primer on Nvidia-Docker — Where Containers Meet GPUs

    GPUs are critical for training deep learning models and neural networks. Though it may not be needed for simple models based on linear regression and logistic regression, complex models designed around convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and recurrent neural networks heavily rely on GPUs. Especially computer vision-related models based on frameworks such as Caffe2 and TensorFlow have a dependency on GPU.

    In supervised machine learning, a set of features and labels are used to train a model. Deep learning algorithms don’t even need explicit features to evolve trained models. They pretty much “learn” from existing datasets designated for training, testing, and evaluation.

LLVM Clang 6.0 vs. 5.0 Compiler Performance On Intel/AMD Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Since last week's big release of LLVM 6.0 along with Clang 6.0, I have been carrying out some fresh compiler benchmarks of the previous Clang 5.0 to this new stable release that switches to C++14 by default, among many other changes to LLVM itself and this C/C++ compiler front-end.

For your compiler benchmark viewing pleasure today are results of LLVM Clang 5.0 vs. 6.0 on four distinctly different systems: two Intel, two AMD, for getting a glimpse at how the Clang 6.0 compiler performance is looking at this time. For those wondering how Clang 6.0 is stacking up compared to the soon-to-be-released GCC 8.1 compiler, those benchmarks will come when GCC 8.1 is officially available.

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Graphics: XWayland and Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Per-Window Flipping In Present With XWayland Support Revised

    While the belated X.Org Server 1.20 is onto the release candidate stage, there still are some feature patches expected to land and among them is the per-window flipping support in the Present extension with support wired through for XWayland.

    Worked on last summer via GSoC 2017 was this support by Roman Gilg with a goal of reducing tearing in XWayland windowed environments by adding per-window page-flipping support to Present and wiring that up to XWayland so those X11 apps atop Wayland wouldn't be bound to using just one buffer.

  • Airlie Moves Ahead With His Plan For Soft FP64 For Mesa, OpenGL 4.3 For Evergreen GPUs

    Yesterday we wrote about David Airlie working on a fresh push to get "soft FP64" support in Mesa for allowing some older graphics cards on the R600g driver to then have OpenGL 4 support thanks to this double-precision floating-point support being their last blocker. That code is moving forward.

    The soft FP64 support within GLSL shaders is the work originally done by former GSoC contributor Elie Tournier. Airlie is preparing to merge that code along with various changes he has made since then, including the option for Gallium3D drivers to individually decide about opting in or not to this emulated FP64 support.

  • Mesa Developers Working To Figure Out How To Improve Their Release Process

    Following the very bumpy Mesa 17.3 releases, Mesa developers are currently discussing ideas for improving the release process moving forward.

    Mesa 17.3 was shipping with some nasty bugs that went uncaught among other issues leading some to feel that the 17.3 series has been their worst release in recent memory. But the good news is that's been igniting the discussion the past week about how to turn this situation around.

NVIDIA 390.42 Linux Driver Released

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Graphics/Benchmarks

NVIDIA has just published the 390.42 Linux graphics driver as their latest maintenance update in this long-lived driver series.

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Graphics: OpenChrome, FP64, Wine/Vulkan, QC1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • OpenChrome KMS Can Now Do Runtime Resolution Changes, Hopes To Go Mainline In 2018

    The OpenChrome KMS/DRM driver can finally handle run-time resolution changes without crashing. The developer now hopes to be able to mainline this driver into the Linux kernel in 2018.

    OpenChrome KMS previously has been unable to handle run-time resolution changes without crashing the X.Org Server, but now this kernel mode-setting driver can do so. After previously battling a standby resume problem for OpenChrome KMS and now tackling this screen resolution change crash, developer Kevin Brace is now able to get by without regular crashes to his computer. This now puts the OpenChrome KMS support about on-par with the DDX driver's user-space mode-setting support.

  • OpenChrome DRM Driver To Work On New GEM/TTM Code, Regression Fixes

    Now that the OpenChrome DRM driver is hoping to go mainline in 2018 now that it can handle run-time resolution changes without crashing the X.Org Server, the project's lone developer Kevin Brace has published a TODO list of other code changes he has planned prior to getting this open-source VIA x86 graphics driver into the mainline Linux kernel.

  • David Airlie Moves Toward Upstreaming Soft FP64 Support In Mesa

    There's been work going on for years of "soft" FP64 support to allow emulated support for the double-precision floating-point data types for GPUs not otherwise inherently supporting this capability. The soft support would allow for some older GPUs to then advertise OpenGL 4.0+ support now that ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 support could be enabled. That day looks like it's finally coming for mainline Mesa.

  • Vulkan WSI Support Is The Latest Being Worked On For Wine

    Following more Wine Vulkan code being merged and the first milestone being achieved of vulkaninfo working, Roderick Colenbrander has submitted his latest patches in the bring-up of Vulkan support under Wine.

  • This Cryptocoin Miner Uses GPU Heat To Warm Up Your Room

    Now, a French startup Qarnot has added way new name to the list: a crypto heater. Yes, you heard that right. The heater, called QC1, can warm up your room while its mines crypto coins. To do so, it houses two Sapphire Nitro + Radeon GPU RX 580 GPUs with 8GB VRAM each.

Graphics: RenderDoc, Intel, DRI, Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • RenderDoc 1.0 Graphics Debugger Released

    RenderDoc 1.0 has been released, the open-source standalone graphics debugger that supports frame capturing and introspection of Vulkan, D3D11, D3D12, OpenGL, and OpenGL ES APIs across all major platforms.

  • Intel Developers Prepare More Cannonlake/Icelake Graphics Code For Linux 4.17

    Intel open-source developers are preparing the last of their feature work for the i915 DRM driver with the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel cycle.

    Work already staged in DRM-Next for this Intel Direct Rendering Manager driver in Linux 4.17 includes Cannonlake support being in good shape that it's no longer hidden behind an alpha support flag, initial Intel Icelake graphics support for these "Gen 11" graphics processors, and a lot of other internal code changes/improvements. A final batch of changes is now up for testing that will target DRM-Next for Linux 4.17.

  • New DRI3 v1.1 & v1.2 Bits Now Supported By Mesa

    Of the many features coming to X.Org Server 1.20 there is now Direct Rendering Infrastructure 3 (DRI3) versions 1.1 and 1.2. Mesa has now received its patches for making use of the new functionality.

    Landing in Mesa 18.1-devel Git yesterday was DRI3 v1.2 support within the Vulkan WSI (Windowing System Integration) code used by both RADV and ANV for supporting multiple planes and buffer modifiers.

  • Shared Virtual Memory Support For Nouveau With HMM

    It's been a while since we last have seen any new Heterogeneous Memory Management patches even after its mainline introduction in Linux 4.14. But Jerome Glisse who masterminded HMM at Red Hat is now out with some Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) patches for Nouveau.

  • With Mesa Git You Can Now Run A Completely Open Graphics Stack On The Tegra X1

    With today's Mesa 18.1-devel Git code, the last of the Tegra/Nouveau code has landed where it's now rounded off for offering a completely open-source and accelerated graphics stack that works well on the Tegra210 (Tegra X1) SoC.

    Landing today in Mesa Git is the initial Tegra support for the K1 SoC and newer. There was the commit linked to and then several other related patches arriving in the tree a short time ago. This Tegra support in Mesa is needed for display support while the GPU is driven via the Nouveau NVC0 Gallium3D driver as a render node. This code is for the Tegra K1 and newer while it seems the X1 SoC is in best shape right now and there are already users of this code on this SoC running a completely open-source 3D driver stack. On the kernel side, there has already been Tegra DRM support in the mainline kernel.

An Early Look At The Linux 4.16 Kernel Performance With AMD EPYC

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Graphics/Benchmarks

A few days back I provided some fresh Linux 4.16 kernel benchmarks compared to recent stable kernel releases while also toggling the KPTI and Retpoline security features on Linux 4.16 Git for seeing the impact of the Spectre and Meltdown mitigation techniques on this latest kernel while using Intel Xeon hardware. For this latest round of tests is a similar comparison while using an AMD EPYC system.

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Graphics: DXVK, AMD, Nouveau and More

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • DXVK 0.31 Released With Tessellation Work, NVIDIA Fixes

    The DXVK project that has been making significant progress the past several months in getting Direct3D accelerated via Vulkan for Wine gamers now has a new release available.

  • AMD's Vulkan Memory Allocator Nears Version 2.0

    Last year AMD's GPUOpen group posted the Vulkan Memory Allocator while coming soon is version 2.0 of this code-base.

    The GPUOpen Vulkan Memory Allocator is an easy-to-use memory allocation library that tries to rid your Vulkan code-base of the necessary boilerplate code for memory setup and other routine tasks under Vulkan while making the memory easier to manage across drivers, handle out-of-memory conditions, and is cross-platform. Version 1.0 was out last year but v2.0 appears to be quickly approaching with their current Git activity referencing 2.0 alpha versions.

  • Compute Support Is Moving Along For Nouveau

    Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat at the end of 2017 continues working on Nouveau compute support along with fellow hat-wearing open-source graphics driver developer Rob Clark.

    Karol was initially working on NIR support for Nouveau as part of this effort for getting OpenCL compute going atop this reverse-engineered, open-source NVIDIA driver by taking advantage of existing SPIR-V to NIR support. That NIR intermediate representation support has been getting into shape while a separate effort is also working on SPIR-V support for Clover.

  • AMDGPU Has More WattMan Improvements & Power Profiling For Linux 4.17

    More new material has been submitted to DRM-Next for AMDGPU feature improvements in Linux 4.17.

    At the end of February was the first batch of AMDGPU updates for Linux 4.17 that included initial WattMan support, gamma / color management work for DC, various other AMDGPU DC display improvements, and other alterations.

  • With Vulkan 1.1 It's Technically Possible To Write A Pure Wayland Compositor

    With Vulkan 1.1 it should be technically possible to write a driver/vendor-agnostic Wayland compositor using Vulkan thanks to the new core extensions.

    Going back two years has been feature request #294 about Wayland compositor-side extensions for Vulkan for basically trying to write a Vulkan compositor back-end. That feature request was closed today as with Vulkan 1.1 it's technically possible, but we have yet to see anyone attempt this feat.

Bringing Open-Source, Automated Benchmarks To Windows 10 / Windows Server 2016

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Moving forward the Phoronix Test Suite will be offering Microsoft Windows support that's at near feature parity to the automated, reproducible, open-source benchmarking support we have offered the past decade for Linux as well as BSD, macOS, and Solaris platforms. This is brand new, rewritten Windows support with a focus on Windows 10 x64 and Windows Server 2016.

Back around the Windows 7 days I did the basic port of the Phoronix Test Suite to Win 7 x64 but it wasn't anywhere close to parity with the software when running on Linux or even BSD/Solaris/macOS, but was basically a hobby port. I would use it when wanting to run a few OpenGL Windows vs. Linux gaming benchmarks or so, but it only offered a handful of these basic OpenGL test profiles, the hardware/software detection was quite basic, and there were many other features not available compared to when running the Phoronix Test Suite on other supported operating systems.

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Collaboration Events: Pakistan Open Source Summit, GNOME+Rust Hackfest, DataworksSummit Berlin

  • Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018 concludes [Ed: Not about software]
    A large number of attendees from industry, academia, government, and students participated in the summit. Portuguese Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony while former Naval Chief Admiral (r) Asif Sandila graced the occasion as the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
  • ‘Open Summit key to create industry-academy linkages’
    Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa has said that events such as the Open Source Summit are excellent for spreading awareness and for creating industry-academia linkages and enhancement of the information technology. He stated this while addressing a concluding ceremony of the two-day informative ‘Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018’ attended by large number of people from industry, academia, government and students. Former naval chief Admiral (R) Asif Sandila co-chaired the concluding session. Dr Joao Sabido Costa said that the organisations should utilise open source platforms to build their IT infrastructures in future. To build open source culture in Pakistan, he recommended roadmap with future activities and timelines for spreading open source.
  • Madrid GNOME+Rust Hackfest, part 2
    Yesterday we went to the Madrid Rust Meetup, a regular meeting of rustaceans here. Martin talked about WebRender; I talked about refactoring C to port it to Rust, and then Alex talked about Rust's plans for 2018. Fun times.
  • DataworksSummit Berlin - Wednesday morning
    Data strategy - cloud strategy - business strategy: Aligning the three was one of the main themes (initially put forward in his opening keynote by CTO of Hortonworks Scott Gnau) thoughout this weeks Dataworks Summit Berlin kindly organised and hosted by Hortonworks. The event was attended by over 1000 attendees joining from 51 countries. The inspiration hat was put forward in the first keynote by Scott was to take a closer look at the data lifecycle - including the fact that a lot of data is being created (and made available) outside the control of those using it: Smart farming users are using a combination of weather data, information on soil conditions gathered through sensors out in the field in order to inform daily decisions. Manufacturing is moving towards closer monitoring of production lines to spot inefficiencies. Cities are starting to deploy systems that allow for better integration of public services. UX is being optimized through extensive automation.

Today in Techrights

today's howtos

10 Great Linux GTK Themes For 2018

Customization is a big part of the Linux experience, and your desktop theme is no exception. The world of Linux desktop themes is an ever-evolving one, with new ones replacing old favorites all the time. Of course, the desktop environments and GTK itself are always changing, so that adds another dynamic element to consider. That said, some of the best desktop customization happens on the simplest desktop environments, like XFCE. As of now, in early 2018, there are some really excellent GTK themes available. These themes aren’t ranked in any particular order. That comes down to a matter or preference. Any one of them can add a whole new look to your GTK-based desktop. Read more