Samsung Continues On With Exynos DRM Development
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 2 April 2012 at 10:04 AM EDT. 3 Comments
Samsung continues working on their open-source Linux graphics driver stack for their Exynos line of ARM-based SoCs. The Samsung developers' latest contribution is Exynos libdrm support.

Last August was when Samsung published the Exynos DRM driver that was merged into the mainline Linux kernel (Linux 3.2 kernel) and the first ARM SoC graphics driver to hit the Direct Rendering Manager sub-system, which was then followed by the Texas Instruments OMAP DRM driver.

Since it went mainline, Samsung has kept working on the Exynos DRM driver with adding new features and improvements during each kernel's merge window. For this current cycle, the Linux 3.4 kernel, Samsung made some very exciting improvements.

The Exynos driver for the Linux 3.4 kernel has HDMI 1.4 support, a new buffer allocation type, a new DMA address interface for GEM/2D acceleration handling, and a virtual display driver. There was also originally a Samsung "G2D driver" for this merge window as a means of direct-rendering 2D graphics acceleration, but that's been delayed due to the Linux 3.5 kernel to allow it more time to bake.

What's new in Samsung's open-source land now is Exynos libdrm support. Inki Dae of Samsung published the 560+ line patch to the mailing list this morning. "This patch adds libdrm_exynos helper layer that inclues some intefaces for exynos specific gem and virtual display driver and also adds exynos module name to modtest and vbltest."

At the moment there isn't a "xf86-video-exynos" X.Org driver to take advantage of the libdrm support, but hopefully it will be worked on. At least though the xf86-video-modesetting driver can work in a generic way atop the Exynos DRM side. There's also not yet any Mesa/Gallium3D driver for Exynos, but that's a much greater dream and would first require significantly more DRM work.

Last week there were also some libdrm changes, including patches for Texas Instruments OMAP support for this user-space DRM library.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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