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Embrace the Atomic (Display) Age

On one hand people stopped appreciating partial redraws and torn-up windows in their GUI. On the other hand seriously power-constrained devices like tablets and phones became all the rage, and that means tons of special-purpose display hardware to help out the power-hungry GPU with compositioning the GUI. Both together means the kernel needs to provide a display API which can do atomic updates of the entire display pipeline. And with the 4.2 release, after years of work, linux finally has the one atomic display API to rule them all!

This talk will cover how it all came about, why existing out-of-tree aproaches weren't up to it and what the merged atomic design looks like. It will also look into some of the nifty detail solutions.

Daniel Vetter

Daniel Vetter is the maintainer of the Intel drm/i915 graphics driver since a few years. Besides the usual maintainer duties and feature work he spends a sizeable amount of time in trying to rectify past mistakes in the drm subsystem. Of which there are a lot, and a lot of these mistakes are in the form of bad userspace API which can’t be removed anytime soon. He is working at the Intel Open Source Technology Center.


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