Sunday, June 24, 2012

Intel Publishes Ivy Bridge Programming Documentation

Intel has very quietly pushed out their Ivy Bridge graphics programming documentation and register specifications on Friday. This Ivy Bridge graphics core programming documentation spans 17 files spread across three volumes and 2,468 pages of technical details concerning their latest-generation graphics.

While Intel has a large team of developers within their Open-Source Technology Center working on their open-source Linux graphics driver, they continue to produce very detailed programming documentation for the public. These documents cover the key registers for their hardware and other information to benefit anyone wishing to get into low-level graphics driver programming or just wanting to better understand how Intel's latest graphics core works.

Intel is considered to be the best Linux friendly hardware vendor, contributing to open source at every chance they get.

Intel has put out documentation on their graphics chips for several generations now and they just did so for Ivy Bridge. The Ivy Bridge processors have been available since April, and the open-source Linux code for the graphics driver has been available for more than a year, but they finally received permission to do the public drop of their programming documentation.
This Intel HD Graphics Open Source Programmer’s Reference Manual (PRM) describes the architectural behavior and programming environment of the Ivy Bridge chipset family. The Graphics Controller (GC) contains an extensive set of registers and instructions for configuration, 2D, 3D, and video systems. The PRM describes the register, instruction, and memory interfaces, and the device behaviors as controlled and observed through those interfaces. The PRM also describes the registers and instructions, and provides detailed bit/field descriptions.
This documentation appears to be rather complete from the initial look through it this morning. There's just under 2,500 pages of information spanning 17 PDF files. The graphics core is covered including the MMIO registers, memory interface, render engine, blitter engine, and video codec engine command streamer. There's also coverage on the GT interface register, L3 cache and URB, 3D media pipeline, media and general purpose pipeline, multi-format transcoder, VGA registers, PCI registers, north/south display engines, message gateway, and execution unit ISA

Intel's documentation is available for unrestricted download here. Source: Phoronix

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