Intel Meteor Lake Updates For Linux 6.1: “Standalone Media Unit”, Thunderbolt Support, & Additional GPU drivers

Intel has had a busy few days with Linux 6.1 additions and support, as well as the introduction of the "standalone media" Graphics Technology block, which takes the place of the company's media encode and decode processing. The company also further optimized its GPU driver for Arc dGPUs and Meteor Lake, or MTL, and added Thunderbolt support for MTL, as initially reported by the website Phoronix.

Intel launches "standalone media" processing, Thunderbolt support, and GPU patches to Linux 6.1 for the upcoming Meteor Lake family

Intel's new Meteor lake, released in the latter half of 2023, alters the company's design of its processors, offering a tiled approach to the company's chips. The first inclusion that the company added to Linux 6.1 ahead of the merge window is the introduction of the company's VPU or Versatile Processing Unit, which is slated for Meteor Lake to help accelerate the inference engine. The acceleration will allow the engine to apply analytic rules to the knowledge base used in artificial intelligence to extrapolate new data.

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Along with the inference acceleration of Intel's Meteor Lake chips, the company also transferred their media encode and decode processing to a Graphics Technology block, or GT block referred to as "standalone media."

Intel's Meteor Lake Standalone Media Unit or SMU Can Handle Video Playback Without Requiring a GPU

Before Meteor Lake, Intel would place its media block within its integrated GPUs. With the 13th Gen Core CPUs, Intel has decided to separate the block from the integrated graphics and essentially make the media block "standalone." Intel is on the record for offering the current Arc graphics standards (DG2) and performance for the new Meteor Lake graphics. The company continues to enable graphics support in Linux 6.1, and the recent separation for its GT engine falls along with the latest changes to the unreleased Linux kernel.

Intel's standalone media offers its in-house GuC engine to assist with scheduling workloads within the parallel graphical engines. It will also allow its power management, force wake, and more to be controlled within the standalone media. Standard GT registers for standalone media not involved in the engine would begin at 0x380000. Primarily, the non-engine GT blocks utilize the same MMIO counterchecks commonly used in the preliminary GT blocks.

Intel mentions in the patch notes that the standalone media shares similitudes to remote tiles seen on the Xe HP Software Development Vehicle and Ponte Vecchio chips. The implemented i915 graphics driver will assist with a portion of the standard "multi GT infrastructure" between the two platforms.

The standalone media implementation will add eight new patches to the Intel Linux kernel graphics driver library to ready Meteor Lake upon launch.

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Intel Meteor Lake Gets Thunderbolt Support In Linux 6.1

Another addition to the Linux 6.1 kernel is the addition of the integrated Thunderbolt and USB4 controller support into Meteor Lake. The support is the same Thunderbolt/USB4 controller used in Alder Lake and the upcoming Raptor Lake and also uses the same driver paths in the Intel 12th Gen Core processors.

The only difference is that new device IDS are required for each generation, so those will be created to be included in the kernel. However, Intel is still preparing Raptor Lake, but enabling and patching the future generation core chips as much as possible is beneficial for the company.

Arc Graphics & Meteor Lake GPU driver patches added to Linux 6.1

Intel issued another pull request for Intel's DRM-intel-next material created for Linux 6.1, focusing on preparatory graphics support for Meteor Lake and additional support for the Arc Graphics (DG2 and Alchemist), along with minor bug fixes.

The newest pull request will offer support for the Display C5 (DC5) driver and current DMC coding for the DG2/Alchemist graphics. The new DC5 mode is a way to control the power consumption by dynamically disabling the power well and has also increased the potency of CDCLK PLL. Before the current patchwork, the power limiter was not active, and the CDCLK received a workaround to limit the display background consumption in some circumstances. This workaround was reminiscent of the same workaround in Tiger Lake.

Additional patches efficiently enhance the sanity checks found in the PCI BARs, add another Alder Lake-S PCI ID that the company had not included previously, and new HDMI pixel clock frequencies for next-gen display technology.

News Source: Phoronix

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