Intel Arc Graphics Cards Get ‘VRAM Self-Refresh’ Feature In Latest Linux Drivers

By Jason R. Wilson  / 

Linux 5.19 kernel continues to see plenty of AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel updates. Intel is starting to slow down with its preparations for the company's Arc Alchemist and DG2 open-source drive support, moving towards a more standard starting requirement for their dGPU. Recently, additions to non-core features for the ARC graphics devices have appeared. One of these newest inclusions is vRAM Self-Refresh, or vRAM SR.

Intel Linux Driver preps a new "vRAM Self Refresh" feature to seek inclusion in Intel ARC graphics card support

The new vRAM SR support will help with D3cold and S0ix suspend modes for the complete system. Adding this new feature allows users to bypass expelling local memory objects to the system while in an energy-efficient state. vRAM SR provides for the retention of devoted video memory context to become refreshed while exiting the D3cold power state. Users can expect lower latency levels when recovering from energy-efficient conditions with a minimum adjustment from power consumption. The system can continue utilizing its devoted video memory state by allowing it to remain minimally active.

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Intel's Arc graphics card vRAM SR capability appears after the company has recently finished work on DG2 power management for Linux support on the company's graphics cards. The update included the addition of recent IDs and support for Intel compute tasks, permitting the newest kernel to deliver enhanced power management handling for the Arc Alchemist family of graphics.

Intel's ARC Graphics and the company's client graphics cards do not support D3Cold-VRSR mode, which offers the highest power save levels — zero watts entirely — with an increased latency upon exit.

The new inclusion of vRAM SR functionality and its benefit to the user's system is also dependent on support from the host system's BIOS. Intel has chosen to allow for not only Arc Alchemist DG2 graphics support but backward compatibility with DG1 graphics cards. However, the Linux kernel has yet to offer the same aid, which could lead to supporting it after DG2 support has been fully completed for the open-source operating system.

The new vRAM SR patch for Linux is currently available on Freedesktop. It is not anticipated to be included until the 5.20 to 6.0 kernel series.

Source: Phoronix

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