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Tom’s Hardware
Tom’s Hardware
Aaron Klotz

Intel Is Already Building Linux Audio Drivers For Lunar Lake


Phoronix reports that Intel engineers are already building SoundWire Linux driver support for its upcoming Lunar Lake CPU architecture. Specifically, this update brings with it initial SoundWire Intel ACE2.x support, which will be part of Lunar Lake's future audio capabilities. Intel is developing this new driver well ahead of schedule, with Lunar Lake expected to arrive in 2024.

According to Phoronix, Linux 6.5 will support SoundWire's new ACE2.x generation IP block, which is probably why Intel's engineers are building the new audio drivers right now. Not to mention the fact that Lunar Lake is just around the corner, and is slated to arrive as early as 2024. We don't know much about this new SoundWire revision, but as with all new audio technologies, expect better audio processing and audio quality compared to current SoundWire revisions.

SoundWire is an interface that was ratified in 2015 to transport audio data to integrated audio devices. Basically, it is an "audio operating system" that governs how data is transported to audio devices inside speakers, phones, laptops, automobiles, and other supported audio sources. According to Phoronix, Intel has supported SoundWire for a long time, which explains its early adoption of the latest SoundWire IP blocks.

This is also not the first Linux audio driver Intel has published for Lunar Lake either. Intel has also been busy adding two more audio drivers to Linux supporting Lunar Lake CPUs, including Sound Open Firmware 2.6 and MIDI 2.0 support.

Lunar Lake will be the successor to Meteor Lake, reportedly bringing back the performance per watt crown to Intel. Lunar Lake will share the same multi-tiled technology as Meteor Lake, sporting a CPU tile, graphics tile, SoC tile, and I/O tile, but will be upgraded to Intel's 18A manufacturing process that will offer 10% better efficiency over Meteor Lake's 20A node.

Originally, Lunar Lake was supposed to launch in 2025, but development has gone so well with the 18A process that Intel accelerated its timetable by a full year to 2024.

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