Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 Driver Updated For Linux’s New Accelerator Subsystem


Qualcomm’s Cloud AI 100 inference accelerator that features up to sixteen cores and focused on AI needs at the edge of data centers continues on a trek toward having mainline Linux kernel support.

Back in August of last year Qualcomm posted their «QAIC» open-source Linux kernel driver code for enabling the Cloud AI 100 accelerator. That QAIC driver started off as a Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver given the commonality with GPUs and what other AI accelerator drivers were aiming for at the time. It’s been quiet on the QAIC discussion/upstreaming front the past several months while on Monday they published a second iteration of this driver.

Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 SoC

Notable with the QAIC v2 patches is the Qualcomm Cloud AI driver is now adapted to the new accelerator subsystem/framework rather than DRM directly. Linux 6.2 introduces the new compute accelerator «accel» subsystem while in Linux 6.3 the first accel drivers are coming in the form of the new Intel Meteor Lake VPU driver as well as adapting the existing Habana Labs driver to use the accel subsystem and moving it out of char/misc. Qualcomm’s QAIC driver in its new form is now another accel candidate.

The QAIC v2 driver also addresses comments raised during the initial review process, drops telemetry features, restructures the documentation, and pulls in a few fixes.

Exciting with the new driver is that Qualcomm is publishing their user-space components soon. They say they are a week or so from publishing their user-mode driver and compiler that work with the QAIC driver. It’s good to see them publishing the open-source user-space software for the Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 and is a requirement as well for this driver to be upstreamed that there be an open source user-space software component.

Those interested in Qualcomm’s new revision of the QAIC Linux driver can find it on the dri-devel list where it’s now set to undergo a fresh round of review.