Home PC & LaptopHardware Intel Brings Huge Improvements To Xe Kernel GPU Driver For Linux 6.8, Arrow Lake & Lunar Lake Gain Additional Support

Intel Brings Huge Improvements To Xe Kernel GPU Driver For Linux 6.8, Arrow Lake & Lunar Lake Gain Additional Support

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Intel has accelerated software developments in Linux, offering an improved Xe Kernel GPU driver & adding Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake support.

Intel Has Ramped Up Development At Linux, Targeted at Improving Xe Graphics Drivers & Offering Support For Next-Gen Arrow Lake & Lunar Lake CPUs

Intel’s debut of Arc drivers in Linux was a fairly slow start compared to other platforms, mainly since Team Blue was a bit late in providing enhanced driver capabilities. However, after two years of development, Intel has finally submitted its “revamped” Xe kernel graphics driver for submission in the mainline kernel.

According to Phoronix reports, the new “Xe” graphics driver replaces the traditional i915 DRM kernel driver at Linux and comes with support for support Tiger Lake graphics and newer, both for mobile and desktop GPUs.

Introduce a new DRM driver for Intel GPUs

Xe, is a new driver for Intel GPUs that supports both integrated and discrete platforms. The experimental support starts with Tiger Lake. i915 will continue be the main production driver for the platforms up to Meteor Lake and Alchemist. Then the goal is to make this Intel Xe driver the primary driver for Lunar Lake and newer platforms.

via Kernel.org

Diving into what the new Xe graphics driver at Linux will bring, it comes with redesigned user interfaces, and several other “engineering” improvements that are aimed at making cross-CPU architecture compatibility much more refined with intel graphics. Following are all the changes added for Xe2 (Battlemage) GPUs:

  • drm/xe: Add performance tuning settings for MTL and Xe2
  • drm/xe/xe2: Add MOCS table
  • drm/xe/xe2: Respond to TRTT faults as unsuccessful page fault
  • drm/xe/xe2: Add initial workarounds
  • drm/xe/xe2: Set tile y type in XY_FAST_COPY_BLT to Tile4
  • drm/xe/xe2: Update MOCS fields in blitter instructions
  • drm/xe/xe2: Determine bios enablement for flat ccs on igfx
  • drm/xe/xe2: Modify main memory to ccs memory ratio.
  • drm/xe/xe2: Allocate extra pages for ccs during bo create
  • drm/xe/xe2: Updates on XY_CTRL_SURF_COPY_BLT
  • drm/xe/xe2: Update chunk size for each iteration of ccs copy
  • drm/xe/xe2: Update emit_pte to use compression enabled PAT index
  • drm/xe/xe2: Handle flat ccs move for igfx.
  • drm/xe/xe2: Modify xe_bo_test for system memory
  • drm/xe/xe2: Support flat ccs
  • drm/xe/xe2: Extend reserved stolen sizes
  • drm/xe/xe2: Add missing mocs entry
  • drm/xe/xe2: Follow XeHPC for TLB invalidation
  • drm/xe/xe2: Add one more bit to encode PAT to ppgtt entries
  • drm/xe/pat: Add debugfs node to dump PAT
  • drm/xe/xe2: Update render/compute context image sizes
  • drm/xe/xe2: Add GT topology readout
  • drm/xe/xe2: Add MCR register steering for primary GT
  • drm/xe/xe2: Add MCR register steering for media GT
  • drm/xe/xe2: Update context image layouts
  • drm/xe/xe2: Handle fused-off CCS engines
  • drm/xe/xe2: AuxCCS is no longer used
  • drm/xe/xe2: Define Xe2_LPG IP features
  • drm/xe/xe2: Define Xe2_LPM IP features
  • drm/xe/xe2: Track VA bits independently of max page table level
  • drm/xe/xe2: Program GuC’s MOCS on Xe2 and beyond
  • drm/xe/xe2: Program correct MOCS registers
  • drm/xe/xe2: Update SVG state handling
  • drm/xe/xe2: Program PAT tables

Our team was focused on putting together a driver that uses most, if not all, of the key drm concepts and has a functional display that is shared with i915. All the platforms are still protected by the force_probe protection because they are either officially supported by i915, or because they are still under enablement like Lunar Lake.

Besides the cross-driver collaboration and enabling of upcoming hardware, one of our key areas will be to improve performance and address reports by users so that the driver keeps getting better.

Apart from the Xe graphics driver, Intel has also brought in next-gen support for existing software packages, such as Intel’s VC Intrinsics, which has gained support for Intel’s Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake graphics architectures. This means that the Xe-LPG+ (Arrow Lake / Alchemist) and the Xe2 (Lunar Lake / Battlemage) architectures have gained support for the software project, which shows Team Blue’s dedication to providing early hardware enablement at Linux, especially for its upcoming products.

Image Source: Intel Github

Intel’s Arc and integrated graphics platform is shaping up to reach a “maturity” state in Linux, with Team Blue’s efforts of pushing out continuous updates, along with enablement for next-gen architectures, ensuring a seamless experience during the launch period.

Intel ARC Gaming GPU Lineup

GPU Family Intel Xe-HPG Intel Xe-HPG Intel Xe2-HPG Intel Xe3-HPG Intel Xe Next Intel Xe Next Next
GPU Products ARC Alchemist GPUs ARC Alchemist+ GPUs ARC Battlemage GPUs ARC Celestial GPUs ARC Druid GPUs ARC E*** GPUs
GPU Segment Mainstream Gaming (Discrete) Mainstream Gaming (Discrete) Mainstream / High-End Gaming (Discrete) Mainstream / High-End Gaming (Discrete) Mainstream / High-End Gaming (Discrete) Mainstream / High-End Gaming (Discrete)
GPU Gen Gen 12 Gen 12 Gen 13? Gen 14? Gen 15? Gen 16?
CPU iGPU Xe-LPG (Meteor Lake) Xe-LPG+ (Arrow Lake) Xe2-LPG (Lunar Lake) Xe3-LPG (Panther Lake) TBA TBA
Process Node TSMC 6nm TSMC 6nm TSMC 4nm? TSMC 3nm? TBA TBA
Specs / Design 512 EUs / 1 Tile / 1 GPU 512 EUs / 1 Tile / 1 GPU 1024 EUs / 1 Tile / 1 GPU TBA TBA TBA
Memory Subsystem GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6(X)? TBA TBA TBA
Launch 2022 2024? 2024? 2025? 2026? 2026+

News Sources: Phoronix #1, Phoronix #2

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