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Graphics: Mesa/Virgl3D, Nouveaum and Gallium3D

  • Virgl Lands A Number Of Performance Optimizations In Mesa 19.1
    For those using the Virgl3D driver stack for having OpenGL acceleration within KVM guest VMs with VirtIO-GPU that is then accelerated by hosts, there are performance optimizations that have just landed in the Mesa 19.1 development code. Virgl has introduced a transfer queue along with being able to de-duplicate intersecting 1D transfers, which results in a texture upload micro-benchmark going from 64.23 mtexel/sec all the way to 367.44 mtexel/sec.
  • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Gets Mali T600/T700 Midgard Update
    The Panfrost Gallium3D driver that was recently merged into Mesa 19.1 will soon have better support for the Mali T600/T700 series graphics. ARM's Mali Midgard T600/T700 generations have always been part of the support target for the Panfrost driver, but the newer T860 is where the developers spend most of their reverse-engineering, open-source driver development resources. With a several hundred line patch, the Panfrost Gallium3D driver is receiving updated support for the older Mali Midgard hardware with tests done on the T760 while not regressing the newer T860 support.
  • Nouveau Driver Picks Up SVM Support Via HMM
    The Nouveau kernel driver has queued patches for introducing Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) support for this open-source NVIDIA driver as a step forward to its OpenCL/compute opportunities. The Nouveau DRM driver has support for SVM via the Heterogeneous Memory Management infrastructure that's been part of the mainline kernel for a while. Nouveau patches have been worked on for a while but finally on trajectory for mainline. The NVIDIA proprietary driver has also been working to make use of HMM.

Linux 5.1 Improvements

  • Linux 5.1 Kernel Bringing New Option For Drivers To Be Async Probed
    This driver_async_probe option added by Intel Linux developers allows specifying a list of drivers for the given system that can be probed asynchronously. While the Linux kernel has supported asynchronous driver probing during boot time, some drivers still don't behave properly in this context. As a result, using driver_async_probe= is a safe route for specifying drivers that can be probed asynchronously or for easily testing drivers to verify their async behavior.
  • Linux 5.1 To Deal With More Quirky Hardware From The Lenovo X1 Tablet To ASUS Transbook
    There's no shortage of quirky HID hardware out there. With the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle will be more fixes/workarounds for such consumer devices.

Android Leftovers

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVMe Linux SSD Benchmarks

Announced at the end of January was the Samsung 970 EVO Plus as the first consumer-grade solid-state drive with 96-layer 3D NAND memory. The Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs are now shipping and in this review are the first Linux benchmarks of these new SSDs in the form of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB MZ-V7S500B/AM compared to several other SSDs on Linux. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus uses the same Phoenix controller as in their existing SSDs but the big upgrade with the EVO Plus is the shift to the 96-layer 3D NAND memory. Available now through Internet retailers are the 250GB / 500GB / 1TB versions of the 970 EVO Plus at a new low of just $130 USD for the 500GB model or $250 USD for the 1TB version. A 2GB model is expected to ship this spring. Read more