November 9th, 2010


some info on intel/nvidia switchable

Okay I sat down for a few hours last week with a switchable Intel/NVidia GPU laptop, and at least worked out some more info. I'm going to braindump it here.

Firstly in intel_acpi.c jbarnes has worked out some of the values for outputs in the ACPI tables esp around what is and isn't MUXed.

Now we had suspected that one of the nvidia GPU DSM methods (method 5) might actually do something, but a deeper investigation along with mjg59 made us realise it isn't the mux control, so we started looking elsewhere.

So we tracked down the MXDS method which is attached to the ACPI outputs per GPU, there is one on the LVDS for the internal GPU and one on the LVDS for the external GPU. So it appears that this is the mux switching object. Looking further up it appears that this is called via a WMI interface, so to do this all properly it looks like we need to write a WMI driver to call the mux switching, instead of just banging on ACPI methods.

So going forward a WMI driver needs to be written to which you pass the ACPI output IDs to the WMI MXDS method, and it should switch the mux.

Now despite this we didn't actually get the switching to happen, nouveau never got an auxch connection to the panel on the laptop, so I'd really like to see if anyone is useful enough to take this knowledge and make it do something on an LVDS laptop, all I have locally are a big pile of hacks.

Thanks to Jesse Barnes for the laptop, and Matthew Garrett for the ACPI decoding.

[update: one commentor asked about Macs, they have a non-WMI, non-ACPI method of handling things, sidolin on #nouveau at one stage mostly reverse engineering the mux, which was just reading/writing some memory mapped I/O ports to do the switch, not sure how far he is from pushing some patches out].