Engineers working on open-source projects for Intel are putting in a lot of effort to create a new graphics driver that will take the place of the i915 driver, which is twenty years old.
The open-source Intel i915 graphics driver will soon be replaced with a new graphics kernel based on the Xe architecture. This will allow for improved optimization and broader acceptance in older architectures.
The i915 graphics driver was first presented during the production of the 915G Northbridge chipset when it was first released.
Engineers are now considering upgrading the i915 graphics kernel with a Xe-based graphics driver. This driver will help support integrated and discrete Intel graphics cards, and its release is anticipated as soon as the following year.
Once the new manager is in place, this new Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver will continue to support the i915 driver and begin support for Xe graphics and 12th Generation graphics. It is hoped that the most recent version of the graphics driver will be more effective and streamlined for the pictures currently in use and those that will be developed in the not-too-distant future so that it won’t need to be updated for an additional number of generations.
The new Xe-based driver for the iGPUs for Tiger Lake and above is something that developers are keeping an eye on, in addition to the dGPUs already available on the market. The updated driver will make it possible to enhance the management of TTM memory, the AMDGPU DRM scheduler, and a few other minor areas.
According to Michael Larabel of the website Phoronix, the new driver will also operate in conjunction with the drivers for Intel’s Iris Gallium3D and ANV Vulkan, and there is a possibility that Mesa3D may receive support shortly. Along with the others stated, support will be provided for the new NEO compute stack for OpenCL and one API Level Zero.
Today saw the release of a patch series for RFC, and an MR claimed that it was “functional enough to run GNOME, browser, OpenGL games, Vulkan games[…].” There have been reports of problems with this new MR, which are now being studied; thus, a solution should be available shortly.
Michael Larabel says the new graphics driver that Intel Xe developed will benefit the company’s current and upcoming processors. This is because the optimizations to the code have included several Intel CPU architectures, such as Arm and x86 64 chipsets, which enable better communication between the different architectures.
It is probable that in a few more generations, the i915 driver will no longer be used after further generations adopt the new Xe graphics driver. This would happen when a certain number of ages have passed.