Intel’s Arc GPUs will soon support the first Linux implementation of Display-Port Multi-Stream Transport with Display Stream Compression, according to a report by Phoronix. DisplayPort 1.4 on Arc graphics now supports daisy-chaining of up to three 4K 60Hz monitors. If all goes well with development, this functionality could debut in October with Linux kernel 6.1.
This is an update for Linux users only. Although we believe that Windows Arc GPU drivers already enable DP MST with DSC, we cannot confirm this.
We haven’t seen this feature implemented on Intel GPUs before, says Phoronix. So far, Intel’s integrated graphics solutions have only been supported with Display Stream Compression and not with daisy chaining (MST) by the Linux drivers provided by Intel.
Intel appears to be limiting the rollout of this capability to its open-source driver stack for Arc GPUs at the moment. Unfortunately, the nature of the integrated graphics support is still unknown, despite the obvious usefulness of this function for notebooks with integrated graphics.
Even so, Linux will soon support discrete Arc GPUs in PCs and laptops. Since the current AIB partner card, Arc Alchemist GPUs have four display outputs, this is probably not a particularly helpful feature for desktops. However, this functionality may be especially helpful for advanced Linux users who are working with Arc-powered laptops, which often have far less robust display output connectivity.
According to Phoronix, this addition is one of many that will be made to Intel’s open-source discrete GPU driver stack in the near future. Intel’s Arc drivers are currently in experimental stages, requiring the most recent versions of Mesa and Linux distributions.
Intel has been working hard to introduce a number of enhancements to Linux kernel 6.1, which might transition the driver from its current experimental state into a more stable package that more users can use across a wider range of Linux distributions.
Only time will tell if DP MST with DSC, in particular, arrives in October, with the introduction of the Linux 6.1 kernel cycle, or if it is pushed back to a later kernel update.