Intel sends GPU firmware management update, more Meteor Lake graphics code for Linux 6.1

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Intel engineers submitted another batch of “i915” kernel graphics driver changes for Linux 6.1 which include updated GuC firmware version handling, more work on DG2/Alchemist Arc Graphics, and also no more Meteor Lake “MTL” activation for this Raptor Lake successor.

Since late August, Intel started submitting more DG2/Alchemist changes to DRM-Next for spooling ahead of Linux 6.1. Additional pulls sent to DRM-Next also included more activation work for Meteor Lake. On Friday, another round of drm-intel-gt-next changes were submitted, largely continuing recent development trends: this pull request contains more DG2/Alchemist work as well as more Meteor Lake code.

This week’s pull request is also significant because it contains a rework to deal with versioned GuC/HuC firmware. This is the correct solution to the issue I raised in July that Intel driver updates for Linux 5.19 were going to break graphics acceleration due to increased GuC firmware version requirements for Alder Lake P after launch. There are now clear guidelines for Intel not to break firmware compatibility on released products and driver changes this week ensure more robust firmware release/loading.

Other code this week includes fixing an H.264 hardware video decoding regression since Linux 5.19, GuC SLPC improvements, thread execution tweak for Arctic Sound M, dropping suspend in insufficient system memory and a variety of other low-level improvements. The full list of fixes for the week can be found via the draw request.

Work on new DRM-Next features will wrap up soon before the Linux 6.1 merge window opens in early October. The stable version of Linux 6.1 will not be released before the end of the year. It remains to be seen if Intel will try to declare Arc Graphics “DG2” support as stable for v6.1 or if it will continue to hide it behind the experimental feature flag requiring the i915.force_probe option to enable graphics acceleration.

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