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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Testing AMD Catalyst 11.4 pre-release on Linux hybrid graphics

A new version of the Catalyst binary driver has been pre-released:

This is AMD's closed-source binary driver, nothing to do with vga_switcheroo.

One of the team members has submitted a bug report here:

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

More methods for acpi_call

The git log for the acpi_call source code shows recent additions to the list of switch on/off methods found in the DSDT.dsl table files provided by the Linux Hybrid Graphics team members. The lastest one is for the Asus N53SN laptop.

For more details on acpi_call, see

commit 984592a4b3b42468f684da928bd10db1fa054964
Date:   Wed Mar 23 09:32:13 2011 +0000

    adding method from another Asus N model

commit fda3afe87f434cf1611ed1fe5b2fe26b554319e5
Date:   Thu Mar 3 20:34:37 2011 +0100

    Added Asus 1215n files by Pete Eberlein forgotten in manual merge.

commit 9da5be8957ffec0d45447e8f967203bc1a32e832
Date:   Mon Dec 13 19:54:18 2010 +0000

    adding method for Asus EeePC 1015PN

commit 39152d2a0e429927995232beeae7381caa7831d3
Date:   Mon Dec 6 12:20:18 2010 +0000

    adding HP.Pavilion.Dv6-3031ss method

commit 36a13f3615ea6f826a0775c4cd1b5f20b13100c7
Date:   Tue Nov 23 10:32:40 2010 +0000

    adding method Samsung Q330

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Linux Optimus PRIME and GPU hot-switching -- David Airlie -- 20110319

The Google Summer of Code 2011 is upon us, and it's time again to bring back those open-source projects under the Xorg umbrella that will benefit from the keen attention of bright students sll over the world. And everything is good news so far for the linux hybrid graphics project. There is interest in working on improving the Linux support, and David Airlie has given an update about the current status:

[GSOC] greetings

wrt to these two projects,

the PRIME work is currently being redone, I was able to play openarena on an nv50 displaying on an ironlake yesterday afternoon. I'm also hoping Ben can get the nvidia PCOPY engine going. I'm hoping to push the various bits upstream on this effort and at try and figure out how to configure things for users. I'll hopefully write up a design document so people can review the design before I push the code out.

The hot-switch work is a lot more work, we really need to implement ARB_robustness extension in the GL drivers we care about, and then port compositors to use the GLX_create_context API so the composting can handle the GPU switch happening. I've got most of the X server side duplication working but there is a lot of validation of a lot of corner cases to be done before I'd be happy pushing it (in my dynerama branch of my Xserver).

Good news for linux hybrid graphics on nvidia -- nouveau drivers leap forward @

This is good news for those on hybrid graphics laptops that got them to work with nouveau drivers but are unable to install and use the binary closed-source nvidia drivers. As you can read here:

[Phoronix] On Low-End GPUs, Nouveau Speeds Past The NVIDIA Driver

the results of the phoronix benchmarking show that nouveau, steadily improving since it was merged into the Linux kernel, promises to deliver great performance on different nvidia GPUs.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Promising prospects for linux hybrid graphics in Google Summer of Code 2011 @

[Phoronix] Multi-GPU PRIME & GPU Hot-Switching Proposal

a Russian student developer has just voiced two ambitious proposals: Multi-GPU PRIME support and GPU hot-switching.

The Russian student developer, Антонов Николай, is interested in either open-source PRIME multi-GPU support or multi-graphics card hot-switching support to be worked on as this year's Google Summer of Code.

Open-source GPU PRIME support came about a few days over a year ago as an attempt to provide multi-vendor graphics processor offloading / multi-GPU rendering. The PRIME name comes from David Airlie, the author of the original code, dubbing it off NVIDIA's Optimus Technology that was introduced a month prior. Unlike Optimus, PRIME could theoretically work with any open-source graphics driver regardless of hardware vendor. However, the only active work on PRIME lasted for a matter of days and so David looked for someone else to take over this work. Now there may be that chance with the 2011 Google Summer of Code.

The other alternative project that Antonov has expressed interest in is graphics card hot-switching for X.Org. This would be interesting for being able to pop-in a second GPU without blowing out an existing X.Org Server or simply for dual-GPU notebooks to flip from the integrated to discrete graphics seamlessly. It's along the lines of last year's switcheroo work, but more integrated into the X.Org Server for seamless switching.

With these two features, however, there is some display-server-specific work, so any X.Org Server code wouldn't necessarily provide direct benefit to the Wayland Display Server.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Switch on/off Nvidia card on Dell Vostro 3700/3500

This URL provides the details to switch on/off the Nvidia card on a Dell Vostro 3700 or 3500 laptop:

When the nvidia card is switched on, it uses the nouveau drivers, and some stability issues have been found.