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

Lima Graphics Driver Can Beat ARM's Binary Blob

Hardware

Published on 06 February 2013 08:48 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
2 Comments

The open-source Lima graphics driver that's a reverse-engineered user-space software driver for ARM's Mali graphics core, is now faster than the official ARM binary graphics driver in certain cases, such as when running Quake 3.

Luc Verhaegen presented this past weekend at FOSDEM 2013 to talk about Open ARM GPU Drivers. Of course, most of what he talked about when it came to open-source ARM drivers was his own Lima driver project. This performance milestone was something that I hinted at last week.

On Luc's blog he wrote about his favorite point of the talk: "We now have a limare (our proto/research driver) port of Quake 3 Arena which is running the q3a timedemo 2% faster than the binary driver. With 3% less cpu overhead than the binary driver to boot! ... It is almost pixel-perfect, with just a few rounding errors introduced due to us being forced to use a slightly different vertex shader (ESSL, pulled through the binary compiler instead of a hand coded shader). We have the exact same tearing as the binary drivers, which are also not synced to display on the linux-sunxi kernel (but ever so slightly more tearing than the original ;))."

Before getting too excited though, this is only their research/prototype "Limare" code. This isn't yet a Mesa / Gallium3D driver or any other polished driver implementation. Additionally, Limare is still relying upon ARM's binary-only shader compiler. Luc does believe though they will get decent performance out of their shader compiler but right now the code is a bit messy.

In related open-source ARM graphics news, the Freedreno Gallium3D driver is coming along nicely.

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. The MSI X99S SLI PLUS Is Working & Running Well On Linux
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980: The Best GPU For Linux Gamers
  3. ROCCAT LUA: A Linux-Friendly Gaming Mouse
  4. Cheetah Mounts: The Affordable Way To Put Your TV On The Wall
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Preview: Radeon Gallium3D Performance For CS:GO On Linux
  2. XWayland Linux Gaming Performance With GNOME Wayland On Fedora 21
  3. EXT4/Btrfs/XFS/F2FS Benchmarks On Linux 3.17
  4. Fedora 21 Alpha First Impressions: It's Great
Latest Linux News
  1. CUPS Turn 15 Years Old, CUPS 2.0 Released
  2. VA-API Gallium3D State Tracker Added Back To Mesa
  3. Radeon DRM Gets New Information Ioctl Queries
  4. Mir 0.8 Works On Less ABI Breakage, Touchspots, Responsiveness
  5. CS:GO For Linux Gains Better Stability, Community Server Support
  6. NVIDIA Issues Updated 340.46 Long-Lived Driver Release
  7. KDE Plasma 5.1 Now In Beta
  8. Systemd & Debian Were Most Popular In September
  9. Microsoft Announces... Windows 10 With A Start Menu
  10. Borderlands 2 Launches On Steam For Linux
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Take the Steam Survey results with a grain of salt. It is flawed.
  2. X.Org Is Looking For Some Female Help
  3. Hacking Express gate (Asus Splashtop)
  4. Microsoft Announces... Windows 10 With A Start Menu
  5. NVIDIA Alerts Nouveau: They're Starting To Sign/Validate GPU Firmware Images
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. Nero CD/DVD Burning Software On Linux Is Dead
  8. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd