Open ARM GPU Drivers FOSDEM 2013 Video and Call to ARM Management

As I previously wrote, FOSDEM organizers are slowly uploading FOSDEM 2013 videos. One of the most interesting talk “Open ARM GPU Drivers” is now available. I’ve also uploaded it to YouTube (embedded below) to give it more exposure. Luc Verhaegen has also written a recent blog post entitled “Hey ARM!” where he announces the release of the modified source for Quake 3 Arena demo, and asks ARM to join them in making an open source driver. Open ARM GPU Drivers @ FOSDEM2013 This session covers the following key points: Problem – Binary drivers are mainly designed to run in Android, and it’s very difficult to have proper GPU drivers for Linux, and companies are not interested to release open source drivers or even just documentation, as they are not convinced it will benefit them in any way. Legal – This is actually the main issue, as open sourcing existing driver is a legal nightmare, and may cost a lot of […]

GPUs Comparison: ARM Mali vs Vivante GCxxx vs PowerVR SGX vs Nvidia Geforce ULP

I’m always very confused when it comes to comparing GPUs in different SoCs, and I could not really find comparisons on the web, so I’m going to give it a try even though, as you’re going to find out, it’s actually quite a challenge. There are mainly 4 companies that provide GPUs: ARM, Imagination Technologies, Vivante and Nvidia. [Update: Two comments  mentioned Qualcomm Adreno and Broadcom VideoCore are missing from the list. Maybe I’ll do an update later]. Each company offers many different versions and flavors of their GPU as summarized below. ARM Imagination Technologies Vivante Nvidia Mali-400 Series: Mali-400 MP Mali-450 MP Mali-600 Series Mali-T604 Mali-T624 Mali-T628 Mali-T658 Mali-T678 PowerVR SGX Series 5: SGX520 SGX530 SGX531 SGX535 SGX540 SGX545 PowerVR SGX Series 5XT: SGX543MP1-16 SGX544MP1-16 SGX554MP1-16 PowerVR SGX Series 6: G6200 G6230 G6400 G6430 G6600 2D graphics: GC300 GC350 3D graphics: GC400 GC800 GC1000 GC2000 GC4000 ULP GeForce (Tegra 2/3) 74-core GeForce (Tegra 4) For each company the GPU […]

Etnaviv Project Vivante GCxxx GPU Open Source Driver

You have most probably heard of Lima, an initiative to provide fully open source Mali-200 & Mali-400 drivers by reverse-engineering the closed source Mali GPU drivers. A separate effort, Etnaviv Project, has now started to offer open source drivers for Vivante GCxxx GPU used in SoC such as Marvell Armada 1500 (notably used in mainly Google TV platforms), Rockchip RK2918 (present in many older tablets),  Freescale i.MX6 (used in newer tablets, low cost development boards, some SoMs and GK802/Hi802 mini PCs). The project is called Etnaviv. The introduction of Etnaviv Project reads as follows on the corresponding Github account: Project Etnaviv is an attempt to make an open source user-space driver for the Vivante GCxxx series of embedded GPUs. The current state of the project is experimental. It is currently only of use to developers interested in helping develop open source drivers for the hardware, reverse engineering, or in interfacing with GPU hardware directly. It is NOT usable as a […]

Freescale i.MX6 Resources: Development Boards, Documentation, Source Code and Tools

Reader “Mark” recently left a comment saying the NDA on Freescale i.MX6 resources was lifted and documentation and source code were now available for the platform. So it’s time for me to look into it, and provide an overview of Freescale i.MX6 features, list available development platforms, and have a closer look at the documentation, source code and tools for the platform. Freescale i.MX6 Processors In 2011, Freescale initially announced 3 processors in the i.MX6 series for consumer, industrial and automotive markets, but added 2 lite SoC in 2012, and there are now 5 members in the family: Freescale i.MX6SoloLite – Single Cortex A9 processor up to 1 GHz with 256KB L2 Cache, 32-bit DDR3 and LPDDR2 memory support, and 2D graphics accelerator (Vivante GC355 + GC320) Freescale i.MX6Solo – Single Cortex A9 core up to 1 GHz with 512KB L2 Cache, 32-bit DDR3 and LPDDR2 memory support, and 2D & 3D graphics accelerator (Vivante GC880 + GC320) Freescale i.MX6DualLite – […]