Linux driver suggests Intel might be considering multi-GPU support

(Image credit: Intel)

Most of the details surrounding Intel's plans in the discrete graphics card space are being kept close to the company's vest, and it will probably stay that way until next year. In the meantime, there are potential clues to be found. One might be contained in a Linux driver update, which hints at multi-GPU support being a possibility.

This is something both AMD and Nvidia have sort of steered away from, with regards to each company's graphics cards—neither one is heavily promoting CrossFire (AMD) or SLI (Nvidia) like they used to.

It remains to be seen if Intel will take a different approach. That said, the folks at Phoronix made an interesting discovery. They noticed changes in the Linux 5.5 kernel that point to Intel ombining a discrete GPU with the integrated graphics on its processors.

This is actually something Phoronix also observed in an earlier driver release. Seeing it again possibly suggests this is something Intel wants to flesh out.

In this case, the driver code is specific to pairing the iGPU with a discrete GPU, and perhaps that will be something its graphics card support next year, when plopped into a PC with an Intel processor (with integrated graphics). Or Intel could be laying the groundwork for more extensive multi-GPU support.

It's too early to know for sure, and Intel is not willing to discuss specifics just yet. So, we'll have to wait until 2020 to get an answer on this one. 

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).