Nvidia Partially Kills SLI In Their Latest Linux Driver
The release-"highlights" for the latest 455.23 WHQL proprietary Nvidia drivers for Linux contains a small note saying "Removed support for the SLI modes "SFR", "AFR", and "AA"." This does not mean that Nvidia is killing SLI completely, "SLI Mosaic, Base Mosaic, GL_NV_gpu_multicast, and GLX_NV_multigpu_context are still supported". Game developers who want to implement SLI in their games can still do it using any of those modes.
Nvidia is killing off all the more general SLI modes in their latest proprietary Linux drivers. The modes they are still supporting are those that require game-specific support. Game developers are still able to write games that take advantage of what Nvidia calls "SLI Mosaic, Base Mosaic, GL_NV_gpu_multicast, and GLX_NV_multigpu_context".
The 455.23 WHQL driver release notes has another interesting and somewhat sad yet also funny tidbit:
"Added NVIDIA VDPAU driver support for decoding VP9 10- and 12-bit bitstreams. Note that VDPAU's presentation pipeline and OpenGL-VDPAU interop does not support 10- and 12-bit video surfaces yet."
The lack of 10 and 12-bit support in the Linux vdpau library is why everyone moved to VAAPI long ago. AMD graphics cards have support for both, but 10-bit HEVC decoding, or any other 10-bit decoding for that matter, won't work with VDPAU due to that limitation. libvdpau is free software under a MIT Software License and there is a public git repository available at freedesktop.org. There's not much going on there, it's not entirely dead but five commits so far this year, one of which is a change to the AUTHORS file and another bumping the version number, isn't what one could call "alive and well". The Intel-maintained libva library, on the other hand, is very much alive with frequent commits added on a regular basis and that is why developers focus on that instead of the practically dead libvdpau library. Perhaps the mention on VP9 10- and 12-bit support in the latest Nvidia driver means that they plan on dropping some code into libvdpau sometime in the near future.
Support for the newly released high-end GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards, as well as something called "GeForce MX450", is also listed in the 455.23 WHQL driver release "Highlights".
As a reminder: The proprietary binary blob Nvidia driver is as good as a requirement for using Nvidia cards as more than a PCI slot filler on Linux because Nvidia's firmware restrictions prevent the free nouveau driver for Nvidia graphics cards from doing any kind of power-management.
You can acquire the binary blob Nvidia display driver version 455.23 WHQL and from nvidia.com/en-us/drivers/results/163522/.