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Announcing The Lima Open-Source GPU Driver

Free Software

Published on 27 January 2012 10:26 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
17 Comments

There's still one week until the work will be officially announced, but the open-source "Lima" open-source graphics driver project has surfaced.

The Lima driver? This is going to be the open-source driver built for ARM's Mali graphics processors. Lima is what the project's being called for the story Phoronix exclusively broke last week, An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver.

Lima initially is about providing an open-source (OpenGL ES 2.0 supportive) user-space for ARM's Mali 200 and Mali 400 graphics processors, which is the embedded graphics processor being found in more mobile devices. The reverse-engineering and driver writing is being done by Luc Verhaegen and sponsored by Codethink.

The Lima code is to be pushed to this Gitorious project page. "Lima is a free software graphics driver for the ARM Mali GPUs. It aims to provide a free userspace, which will allow for increased flexibility and portability, and a lessened maintenance burden compared to ARM’s binary-only driver. Lima currently supports the Mali-200 and Mali-400 GPUs."

There was some effort to make it part of the FreeDesktop.org project, but Luc's friction with other X.Org developers has caused problems. It looks like the project will now be formally organized at limadriver.org.

The name Lima was used as ARM is already asserting its trademark of Mali against a more aptly named reverse-engineered driver like "reMali" or similar. Though like Mali, Lima is another geographical term while being a mixture of Mali's characters.

Luc will officially be announcing this ARM Mali open-source driver work next weekend at FOSDEM 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. I'll be there next week for the interesting X.Org and Wayland talks so you can expect coverage on Phoronix and my Twitter. I should also be doing some audio/video recordings.

Until Lima is officially announced, you can read the information about this forthcoming open-source GPU driver from last week's article. You can also checkout coverage of earlier FOSDEM events in the meantime.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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