Intel's Linux Ice Lake Gen11 Drivers Are Feature-Complete

Credit: Katvic / ShutterstockCredit: Katvic / ShutterstockIntel now officially considers its open-source Linux drivers for Ice Lake’s Gen11 graphics feature-complete, more specifically the OpenGL and Vulkan drivers that are respectively called i915 and ANV. This means Gen11 is now fully supported in both drivers. According to the patch notes, the drivers should be running “more-or-less” at full performance.

Up to now, when running the OpenGL or Vulkan drivers with Gen11 hardware present, a warning would appear that they did not fully support Gen11 yet, with possible instability and lower performance as a result. Phoronix reports that these warnings have now been removed. Instead, the code now says that they are fully supported, just like earlier generations. 

This should ensure that the major Linux distribution will feature out-of-the-box support for Gen11. This news follows after Intel stopped considering its Gen11 drivers as alpha status in March, which enabled the drivers by default. 

Gen11 is the architecture name for graphics from the 10nm Ice Lake family. At the company’s recent earnings call, Intel said that Ice Lake would qualify in the second quarter of the year and start selling those units in the third quarter (although we can't be sure if they will already be on shelves in the third quarter, as Intel has reiterated the holiday quarter for availability). Intel also said it was increasing its volume goals for 10nm in 2019. Other products that will feature Gen11 graphics are the Lakefield SoC, Rocket Lake and in all likeliness Skyhawk Lake and Elkhart Lake on the Atom side.

The Gen11 architecture has multiple improvements such a more execution units, support for coarse pixel shading and more. We covered the whitepaper in a previous story