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Intel Starts Work on Multi-GPU Support in Vulkan Driver

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has started making changes to their Linux Vulkan Driver to support multiple GPUs, which has the possibility to enable Intel’s integrated and upcoming discrete graphics to work together. It follows earlier changes on the kernel-side of Linux.

Vulkan is derived from AMD’s earlier Mantle API work and is a low-overhead 3D graphics API. Phoronix reported that Intel’s “ANV” Vulkan driver for Linux has seen early infrastructure changes to enable multi-GPU support. As the patch notes reveal, the driver has so far always relied on the fact that there is just a single Intel GPU in a system:

"What we have now works today because our GPUs are build into the CPU and so you're guaranteed to only ever have one of them. One day, that will change and we want ANV to be ready."

This is not the first sign of Intel adding multi-GPU support, as changes on the kernel-side were seen in October already. Today’s changes are another indication of the steady work Intel is conducting to prepare their software stack for the much-teased Xe architecture and the discrete GPUs that will be based on it.

The precise extent to which multiple Intel graphics units in a system will work together is not confirmed yet, but it is likely that Intel would want to get as much performance as possible out of its silicon.

Intel will detail the Xe architecture at GDC in March, so it likely that we'll hear more details there. 

  • CatalyticDragon
    Please resist the urge to muddy the waters with the incorrect term "SLI".

    SLI, or Scalable-Link-Interface, is an NVIDIA proprietary term circa 2004 used for their now legacy driver side system of utilizing more than one GPU.

    SLI and Crossfire are defunct in the age of vendor agnostic DirectX12 and Vulkan multi-GPU extensions and intel's work is with Vulkan. There is absolutely no connection to "SLI" and it's use in the headline is misleading.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    CatalyticDragon said:
    Please resist the urge to muddy the waters with the incorrect term "SLI".

    SLI, or Scalable-Link-Interface, is an NVIDIA proprietary term circa 2004 used for their now legacy driver side system of utilizing more than one GPU.
    Please stop trying to muddy the waters by crediting Nvidia for coining the term SLI. 3dfx first used it to mean "Scan Line Interleave", in 1998.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scan-Line_Interleave
    CatalyticDragon said:
    There is absolutely no connection to "SLI" and it's use in the headline is misleading.
    I do agree with this point.
    Reply