Luc Verhaegen, the lead developer of LIMA open source project, provided an update at LinuxTag 2012 last week-end. This open-source MALI GPU driver isn’t ready for consumers yet, but the LIMA team has made some progress and showcased an OpenGL ES demos running on a Chinese tablet running Android. Luc said the tablet used for the demo is the same hardware as the Spark KDE/Vivaldi tablet, so the video demo below must be running on an AMLogic 8726-M processor with a Mali 400 GPU.
The drivers already (partially) work on both Mali-200 and Mali-400 GPUs. The fragment shader instructions set is fully known and they have disassembler and assembler fully implement, but they still need to work on the compiler. The vertex shader instruction set is 80% known, they have a simple shader disassembler and are working on the assembler.
You can also watch the 40 minute presentation at LinuxTag 2012 for more details on Mali-400 GPU, the work required for reverse engineering GPUs, progress of the project and more. A demo (as shown above) with explanation for each part is also shown and it starts at 25:30.
If you have a device with a Mali 200 or Mali 400 GPU and feel adventurous, you can try the drivers and demo (Limare demo) yourself by using the code available at https://gitorious.org/lima
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.