Intel Gen 12 Tiger Lake (Xe) graphics to feature a Display State Buffer engine
Intel Gen 12 Tiger Lake (Xe) graphics to feature a Display State Buffer engine

Recently, Intel’s launched 10 generation Core Ice Lake processor that is equipped with Gen 11 graphics. It was indeed a big jump in terms of technological performance over its previous generation. The interesting part is, even though the laptop or notebook featuring the latest 10th generations Core Ice Lake processor along with 11th generation graphics is yet to release, we now have some news about Gen 12 Tiger Lake (Xe) graphics.

Since June, Intel open-source development team has been working on Linux patches for bringing Gen 12 Tiger Lake graphics and so far they have tested several rounds of patches. It is heard that the experimental open-source is coming with Linux 5.4.

Now, a new patch series sheds some light on one of the key hardware features of the upcoming Gen 12 Tiger Lake graphics, Display State Buffer (DSB) engine. This engine is going to handle batch submit display register programming.

Intel Gen 12 Tiger Lake (Xe) graphics to feature a Display State Buffer engine
Intel Gen 12 Tiger Lake (Xe) graphics to feature a Display State Buffer engine

It is being rumored that Intel Linux drivers will use DSB for LUT programming and further, the “yet to materialize” or “underdevelopment” patches will boost it for High Dynamic Range (HDR) page-flipping related operations and metadata programming.

The Display State Buffer hardware is going to reduce load time and thus CPU activity. Instead, it will put more effort into the engine attached to the display controller. Overall, it is expected that it will improve the context switching performance of the CPU.

As of now, the patches are under strict scrutiny so it is highly unlikely that we will see them in Linux 5.4. However, Tiger Lake graphics have almost a year in hand so it seems that there is plenty of time for this Linux driver to settle down with the new patches.

Reports suggest that these patches were first leaked by Phoronix on last Thursday. The patches hint that the DSB feature will be used in Gen 12 graphics architecture in 2020.

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