A month ago we have been first to report on Intel posting Linux images driver patches for “device local memory” as they prepare for the convey-up of their “Xe Graphics” discrete GPU hardware due out at some point in 2020. To no wonder, there are more patches out these days because the Intel open-supply developers begin pushing out more code restructuring work for citing snapshots aid past Icelake “Gen 11” portraits.
The patches nowadays aren’t introducing any new hardware guide or functional modifications but refactoring existing code that may be used by Intel photographs generations past “Gen eleven”. The code is converting relevant areas of the motive force to as opposed to simply checking for (pseudo code) “IS ICE LAKE” or “Gen == eleven” to as a substitute putting the relevant code paths to “Gen >= eleven” and comparable so that future generations can re-use present code wherein relevant. That makes the overview simpler for whilst Intel builders put up the patches citing the following-technology hardware guide for without a doubt presenting simply the modified regions. This is much like what we’ve got visible with past generations of Intel Linux photos aid of first re-working the relevant assessments prior to introducing the real convey-up code for next-gen hardware.
So with the remodel patches “gen11+: First assume next systems will inherit stuff” obtainable, it would not surprise me if in a count of weeks we start seeing early hardware enablement work around Xe, formerly called Gen 12.
With preceding generations of Intel pics, the initial open-supply bring-up has usually started 12 months or extra ahead of the real hardware debut to ensure the aid is all ironed out by the time the hardware is delivery — or even in advance of their hardware/software program companions receiving early samples. Intel’s had the Icelake assist out for a number of months now and in latest versions of the Linux kernel and Mesa now largely appears to be in desirable form and in addition they dropped the “alpha hardware” assist flag these days. The Gen12 / Xe support will in all likelihood comply with a comparable fashion of seeing Intel persevering with to push out new driving force assist patches incrementally over the months ahead and preferably having the aid all incorrect status by the time we see the hardware with any luck in 2020. And extra ideally to have the support determined in all the tier one Linux distributions by the point the hardware ships so computer users do not want to jump via hoops using experimental kernel/Mesa builds for increased images/compute guide…
Unlike with Windows wherein Intel simply ships their standalone driver package for download on launch day, underneath the open-source Linux driving force model they need to align with the release cadences of the Linux kernel and different components in addition to the closing dates for the prominent Linux distribution releases to ensure suitable out-of-the-field support.
Stay tuned for our close monitoring of Intel’s next-gen hardware enablement underneath Linux.