Martin Roukala, né Peres

My publications

The Linux Graphics Stack, Optimus and the Nouveau Driver - Cooperative Rendering Across GPUs on Linux

Martin Peres


The Linux graphics stack is constantly evolving to add support for new hardware. This evolution and new software specifications have forced the X graphical server to be split into several components including a now rotates in the Linux kernel, the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM). A quick presentation of these components and their role will be carried out before looking at new major change in the common code, the NVIDIA Optimus technology.

One equipped with Optimus technology laptop has two graphics processing units (GPUs), one from Intel and one from NVIDIA. This technology combines the low power Intel GPU when the machine is not used to the performance of NVIDIA GPUs when the user plays. This technology, however, is a nightmare to manage kernel-side although the final building blocks necessary for its complete management are being finalized. Further explanation of this issue will be made and we’ll see how this new software architecture has added graphics acceleration on embedded processor SoCs like Tegra.

The case of open source NVIDIA driver, called “Nouveau” will then be studied. This is the graphics driver community as it is developed without the help of NVIDIA and attracted several regular contributors, including myself! We’ll take a quick history of the project before talking about the current developments and issues related to the lack of documentation.

The end of this presentation will then be left to the participants so they can ask more general questions about the graphics stack, if they wish.