When I write about a new processor with a PowerVR GPU, I can be sure there will be one or two comments saying something like “It has a PowerVR GPU, it’s a non-starter”, mostly because of the status of graphics drivers in Linux. Luc Verhaegen (libv) also made a presentation at FOSDEM 2013 listing various open source projects for GPUs found in ARM processors and PowerVR was the only one without any community project. Bear in mind that apart from Nvidia, and to some extend Broadcom for the VideoCore IV GPU found in BCM2835 / BCM2836 processors used in Raspberry Pi boards, no other companies have released user space drivers for their GPUs, and all work is done by volunteers for other open source GPU drivers, and I’m not sure any of them work 100% yet.
Imagination has already provided working GPU drivers for their MIPS Creator-CI20 board, these are closed source binaries, but at least they should be usable in Linux. Now Alexandru Voica, Senior Marketing Specialist at Imagination Technologies, and who seems to handle press releases and many of the posts in the company’s blog, has hinted that Imagination is currently working on open source drivers for their GPU in reddit.
Q: Is there plans to make/help/fund open PowerVR driver for Linux?
A: Yes, there is a plan and it is one of the things I’ve been working on for the past few months. Hopefully I’ll have something more to share soon(-ish?).
Sadly, there aren’t any details right now, so we’ll have to be patient and see what comes out of this.
Via Phoronix and Harley.