Ending out the week is an exciting development in the Intel open-source graphics driver space… Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) support! This is another step towards their upcoming discrete Xe GPUs and ultimately their exciting oneAPI conquest.
The preliminary patches were published on Friday night for implementing Shared Virtual Memory support for their i915 DRM driver so that a single address space can be shared between threads on CPUs and GPUs. This is critical for OpenCL and other modern programming APIs including their now-in-beta oneAPI interfaces.
For now there are 13 patches providing some two thousand lines of new kernel code. This Intel SVM support ties into the Heterogeneous Memory Management code that has come together in mainline the past few years.
Due to the timing of this volley, the patches won’t be found in the Linux 5.5 cycle starting off next week but at the earliest will be found in Linux 5.6 releasing as the second major kernel of 2020.
This is just another step in the long road for enabling Intel Xe GPU support under Linux. We have covered other recent work like Intel multi-GPU support and device local memory support, among other changes that are clear indicators in their path to continuing to bring up their super exciting Xe GPUs under Linux. At least from the software side, I am super freaking excited around their GPU hardware ambitions and continued open-source contributions.
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