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Graphics: AMDGPU, Mesa 17.3.7, RADV

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  • Linux 4.17 To Enable AMDGPU DC By Default For All Supported GPUs

    Since the introduction of the AMDGPU DC display code (formerly known as DAL) in Linux 4.15, this modern display stack has just been enabled by default for newer Radeon Vega and Raven Ridge devices. With Linux 4.17 that is changing with AMDGPU DC being enabled by default across the board for supported GPUs.

    Building off the earlier DRM-Next material for Linux 4.17, Alex Deucher minutes ago sent in another round of feature updates for targeting this next kernel cycle. This latest batch has continued code refactoring around PowerPlay, support for fetching the video RAM type from the video BIOS, allowing the TTM memory manager to drop its backing store when not needed, DC bandwidth calculation updates, enabling DC backlight control for pre-DCE11 GPUs, various display code fixes, and other bug fixes.

  • AMDGPU / ATI 18.0.1 X.Org DDX Driver Releases, Fixes Infinite Loop & Crashes

    Michel Dänzer of AMD issued bug-fix updates on Thursday for the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers.

    Just two weeks after the AMDGPU 18.0 X.Org driver release as the first version under their new year-based versioning scheme, the 18.0.1 bug-fix release is out. The xf86-video-amdgpu 18.0.1 DDX update fixes a potential infinite loop after a xorg-server reset in some configurations, Xorg crashing when multiple primary screens are configured, and using the TearFree feature could trigger Pixman library debugging spew.

  • Mesa 17.3.7 Nearing Release With 50+ Changes

    While waiting for Mesa 18.0, the Mesa 17.3.7 point release will soon hit stable users of this open-source, user-space graphics stack.

  • RADV Patches Are Closer For Sub-Group Capabilities

    Daniel Schürmann continues hacking on the sub-group patch-set for the RADV Vulkan driver to expose this important feature of the recent Vulkan 1.1 release.

Benchmarks Of Russia's "Baikal" MIPS-Based Processors, Running Debian Linux

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A few years back was the news of Russia wanting to get into the CPU business and at the time were aiming for ARM-based processors but ended up settling for MIPS. It turns out those "Baikal" processors are still around and being worked on as indicated by some fresh benchmarks this week.

Back in 2015 is when Baikal Electronics/T-Platforms announced their Baikal-T1 28nm SoC with DDR3 support, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz, SATA connectivity, USB 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet. The Baikal-T1 was initially advertised as for use in networking appliances and industrial platforms but has also wound up in some Russian desktop PCs.

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Some Windows Server 2016 vs. Linux Network Benchmarks

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A Phoronix Premium supporter recently requested some Windows vs. Linux networking performance benchmarks. That is being done as part of a larger comparison also featuring the popular BSDs, but for some initial measurements, here are some Netperf networking performance metrics on Microsoft Windows Server 2016 and various Linux distributions.

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Ubuntu 18.04 Versus Six Other Linux Distributions On AMD EPYC

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With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS set to be released next month and its final package configuration quickly falling into place, we have begun firing up some benchmarks for seeing how this Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver" release is comparing to various other Linux distributions. Up first as part of this series of benchmarks is using an AMD EPYC workstation/server for seeing how the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS performance compares to six other Linux distributions.

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Graphics Leftovers

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  • 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 (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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  • 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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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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  • 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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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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  • 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.

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