1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Etnaviv: An Open-Source Driver For Vivante GPUs

Free Software

Published on 11 January 2013 12:47 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
1 Comment

Etnaviv is a new open-source project for building a user-space graphics driver for controlling the Vivante GPUs found in some ARM SoCs. The ultimate goal is to create a new Mesa/Gallium3D driver for this graphics core.

At the moment the Etnaviv driver is particularly seeking to support the Vivante GCxxx series of embedded graphics processors. The 3D-capable Vivante GPUs include the GC400, GC500, GC600, GC800, GC1000, GC2000, and GC4000 products. These graphics cores support OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenVG 1.1, EGL 1.4, DirectX 11, and OpenGL 2.1/3.0.

The Vivante GPUs have been found in many ARM SoCs from the low-cost "Chinese tablets." Among the popular devices bearing Vivante graphics include the Google TV, OLPC, CuBox, many Rockchip 2918 tablets, and devices shipping the Freescale i.MX 6 series. Primary development of this driver is being done by Wladimir J. van der Laan and he's using an Android tablet with a Rockchip RK2918 bearing a GC800 GPU.

The Etnaviv driver ("Vivante" spelled in reverse) is currently in an experimental state. Like Lima, Freedreno, and various other ARM GPU drivers, Etnaviv is developed through reverse-engineering of the Linux driver's binary blob. The ultimate goal for this open-source ARM Vivante GPU driver is to create a Mesa/Gallium3D driver.

At present there's no plans on writing a new open-source kernel driver for the Vivante hardware. Vivante previously put out their Linux kernel component under the GPL.

Within the project's code repository is known information about the render state and registers, ISA vertex/fragment shader documentation, a basic disassembler for shader instructions, command stream format information, interception paths for the GPU command stream, a command stream dumper, replay test, and other components needed for reverse-engineering the Vivante GC graphics and for writing this new user-space 3D driver.

The Etnaviv "Etna_viv" driver project is currently being housed and developed on GitHub.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Acer B286HK: A 28-inch UHD LED 4K Monitor For As Low As $350
  2. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  3. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  4. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Mesa Git Yields Performance Improvements For Newer AMD GPUs
  2. Apple OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Performance
  3. Mesa 10.5-devel Brings Some Intel Haswell HD Graphics Changes Over Mesa 10.3
  4. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
Latest Linux News
  1. NVIDIA Posts Tegra Gallium3D Patch For K1+ Support
  2. Ubuntu 14.10 MacBook Air Tests With Linux 3.18, Mesa 10.5
  3. AMD Richland APU Support Added To Coreboot
  4. 2014 Holiday Shopping Reminder, Happy Thanksgiving
  5. Python 3 Support Added To The GNOME Shell
  6. ReactOS Lands Its New Explorer Shell
  7. Weston's IVI Shell Sees New Version
  8. IMP Launches As Another Open-Source Computer Attempt
  9. Git 2.2.0 Released With 550+ Changes
  10. GNOME 3.15.2 Released
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Hurrican SDL Port
  3. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  4. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  5. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  6. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  7. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control