PowerVR KMS/GBM Driver Is Hoped For Release Soon
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 4 September 2012 at 12:55 PM EDT. 4 Comments
There should be a PowerVR driver update soon-to-be-released that can handle kernel mode-setting (KMS) along with Mesa's Graphics Buffer Manager (GBM). With this support will also come the ability to run Wayland.

Back at the GStreamer Conference 2012 in San Diego there was the interesting TI OMAP4 Wayland demo. The demo by Rob Clark of Texas Instruments showed Wayland running very well on the low-power ARM platform, which uses Imagination's PowerVR SGX graphics core. As said in the article, "[Texas Instruments] hopes to release this TI OMAP4 driver support under an "experimental" state in the near future [for running Wayland]." The OMAP4 display hardware itself is already backed by a KMS driver, OMAPDRM.

Now this morning when Rob Clark released his spinning cube demo for the KMS console, in the mailing list announcement he wrote, "I've tested this on i915 and on panda (with the hopefully-soon-to-be-released pvr gbm/kms support)." So here he publicly confirms that the PVR (PowerVR) GBM/KMS support will hopefully be released soon.

On an entirely separate matter, I recently heard how there almost was an open-source PowerVR graphics driver for Linux with the blessing of Imagination Technologies. This wasn't going to be some reverse-engineered community project but was to be supported by a hardware vendor (not TI) and with programming documentation (provided under NDA by Imagination) to the vendor for writing the open PowerVR SGX driver. Sadly though that particular project never ended up working out and the initiative since abandoned.
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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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