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ARM Releases Kernel Drivers for Mali-T880 / T860 GPUs, User Space Drivers for Mali-T76x GPUs

February 23rd, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
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ARM Mali GPU drivers includes both open source kernel drivers, and binary userspace drivers supporting framebuffer and/ior X11 implementation. The former is rarely an issue and is quickly released, but the latter requires porting and testing for a specific hardware platform, as well legal work, which greatly delay the releases.


Release r5p0-06rel0 for User Space Binary Drivers

Mali-T880 GPU was announced at the beginning of the month together with ARM Cortex A72, and on February 17, 2015, ARM released an update to their Mali-T600 series, Mali-T700 series & Mali-T860/T880 GPU kernel device drivers with revision r5p1-00rel0 that adds supports to Mali-T860 and Mali-T880 GPU. These open source drivers are available for Android and Linux, and also support early Mali-T700 and T600 GPUs.

Separately, the company has also released Mali-T76X GPU drivers for Firefly board powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 processor featuring a Mali-T764 GPU. The first release only supports the framebuffer driver, but ARM is expecting to be able to release the X11 version in the next release (r5p1) planned at the end of March, which means some Linux desktop graphics accelerated will soon be available on Rockchip RK3288, and not only some OpenGL ES 3.0 demos on the framebuffer. The latest release (r5p0-06rel0) also supports Exynos powered Arndale Octa board, Samsung Chromebook 2, Arndale board, and Samsung Chromebook. According to an ARM representative, Rockchip also plans to release their own Linux GPU drivers targeting “TopMetal” hardware platform (should probably read PopMetal).

  1. newbie
    February 23rd, 2015 at 20:43 | #1

    “The Kernel Space Device Drivers are delivered through the Mali Developer in source code form under various different open source licences to allow system builders to integrate the Mali GPU and drivers with the Linux and Android operating systems. The User Space Libraries are only available in binary form from the relevant SoC manufacturer. The Kernel Space and User Space components are coupled, so it is important versions of both match.”

  2. Marius Cirsta
    February 23rd, 2015 at 22:11 | #2

    Yeah, it’s just the usual ARM crap with their closed source blob. With Mali and Tamil depending on Luc’s mood ( which isn’t a very good one right now ) things are not looking rosy for open source graphics on the Mali side.
    Luc did a pretty good job with Lima and now with Tamil but I grow more reluctant each day that anything usable will come of that work.
    We should not depend on one guy for an open source Mali driver and I hold ARM directly responsible for this crap. The same can be said about PowerVr and their crap.
    Good thing Intel is getting into mobile more and more these days and they do have a serious open source strategy in which they take good care of their open source GPU drivers.
    As Linus would say, fuck you ARM.

  3. newbie
    February 23rd, 2015 at 22:16 | #3

    @Marius Cirsta

    Braswell and Cherry Trail will be a best choice i think….

  4. matt
    February 23rd, 2015 at 22:27 | #4

    @Marius Cirsta
    ehrr…. lima driver is in good shape? Where is it? I was still waiting for a release and/or howto to remove binary one on my A1000 …..

  5. bruce
  6. anon
    February 23rd, 2015 at 23:21 | #6

    Personally been using mostly rk30fb from the RK3066-era, but after the mess the RK3188 did to it, turned totally off of any ARM framebuffer/OpenGL/GLES stuff, and went for a non-integrated framebuffers, namely the DisplayLink USB-based framebuffers for full dekstops (has native support on upstream Linux vanilla kernel), work surprisingly well, beats all those ARM cruds anyway… Sure Freedreno might be a better choice, but that of course limits the choices into certain chips.

    Hopefully in the future more and more ARM chips turn to support external GPUs via PCIe, so one could start to use whatever make’n’model tickles their fancy with full blown OGL4/GLnext (of course Nvidia has that already with their K1/X1 chips)… Dare to dream about HSA? (as ARM manufacturers are members of the HSA org)

  7. anon
    February 23rd, 2015 at 23:22 | #7


  8. Marius Cirsta
    February 23rd, 2015 at 23:34 | #8

    Maybe, I used to be a big ARM fan but with all the closed source and custom crap I’m loving x86 more an more each day and can’t wait for Braswell and Cherry Trail as newbie said.

  9. M
    February 24th, 2015 at 03:01 | #9

    @Marius Cirsta and all;

    Cherry Trail(-T) is great for tablets but what about smartphones? AFAICT the mobile variant of Cherry Trail (Morganfield?) will still use powerVR graphics, with no better situation than ARMs solutions. Does anyone know when intel will move to use its own graphics solution with mobile SOCs?!

    PS: The atom code names are the most confusing thing ever. You have the generation code name, a different code name for the CPU core, a different code name for the smartphone variant, and a -T or -D that often doesn’t even get a mention in the tech press despite making a great difference. If anyone knows any good reference material that makes is quick easy and clear, please do share.

  10. newbie
    February 24th, 2015 at 15:54 | #10

    for what do you need a gnu/linux with wayland, x11 on smartphone…. ?

  11. Marius Cirsta
    February 24th, 2015 at 16:38 | #11

    For Jolla Sailfish and just because … 🙂

  12. Marius Cirsta
    February 24th, 2015 at 16:41 | #12

    From what I understand Cherry Trail or some variant of it will be present in smartphones and it will have Intel graphics, unlike previous gen which had PowerVr.
    Intel is cutting PowerVr out of the game, slowly but surely. They’re a too big company to rely on 3rd party stuff and they most likely got fed up with the PowerVr crap ( drivers and all that ). They’ll just switch to in-house where they have complete control and open source drivers.

  13. m][sko
    February 24th, 2015 at 18:32 | #13

    @Marius Cirsta
    Tizen has wayland version already

  14. anon
    February 24th, 2015 at 21:12 | #14

    To have Tor/privoxy to route your SIP/XMPP? 😉

  15. Marius Cirsta
    February 24th, 2015 at 23:50 | #15

    Right, Jolla, Tizen and in a way Ubuntu with their Mir which is similar to Wayland I guess.

  16. March 1st, 2015 at 10:48 | #16

    First r5p1 driver for Firefly with instructions: http://developer.t-firefly.com/en/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=321

  17. mac
    March 31st, 2015 at 14:55 | #17

    @Marius Cirsta
    ‘As Linus would say, fuck you ARM.’


    After such a long time they are loosing our credit of trust! They did completely nothing to introduce strong support for mainline linux kernel!

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