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 Driver Has Some Speed Wins, But Will Not Be Mainlined

Hardware

Published on 02 October 2013 09:15 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
15 Comments

The Lima graphics driver for open-source ARM Mali GPU support on Linux has some performance advantages of ARM Holdings' binary blob, but there's no upstream interest in having the driver mainlined in Mesa.

Last week at XDC2013 there was the state of the open-source ARM GPU drivers. The Lima driver was covered during the presentation by Rob Clark, while in chatting with Luc Verhaegen a few days ago I managed to pick up a couple more details.

Luc expressed that the performance of his Lima driver is "consistently beating the binary" in the range of 6~10% better for GLMark2 and ES2_Gears tests within his Limare driver tests. He also says there's still better performance to be had because under X11 there is no job interleaving right now so he believes there's about 50% performance to be gained by better integration with the display engine and X.Org DDX driver.

Verhaegen believes in the end they should be able to achieve 60% better OpenGL ES performance over ARM's official Mali graphics driver for Linux. He also says he and the few developers involved in the project are also planning Wayland and Mir support. One of the issues that remains outstanding though is the Lima driver is dependent upon ARM's binary shader compiler and that at the moment they don't have a full open-source shader compiler for their driver.

While there's great ambitions for this driver, promising performance results, and Luc continues working on it a lot while being presently unemployed, he doesn't want to mainline the driver in Mesa. Luc has been writing Lima as a classic Mesa driver (not Gallium3D-based) as it's easier to connect into his current shader compiler approach, etc. However, when I asked if he has plans yet to push it into mainline Mesa Git, he said, "I do not want to mainline it...It is pretty nice to be able to build it externally...especially for small hardware like this with turn-around and testing times are very low."

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. GenodeOS 14.11 Now Supports Intel's Wireless Hardware
  2. Jolla Tablet Could Have Upgrades For MicroSDHC, Split Screen, 3.5G
  3. Intel Has Last Round Of DRM Changes For Linux 3.19, Starts Dropping DRI1/UMS
  4. Fedora 21 Release Candidate 1 Awaits Your Testing
  5. GCC 5 Adds Support For ARM's Cortex-A17
  6. KWayland Server Component Coming For KDE Plasma 5.2
  7. NVIDIA Posts Tegra Gallium3D Patch For K1+ Support
  8. Ubuntu 14.10 MacBook Air Tests With Linux 3.18, Mesa 10.5
  9. AMD Richland APU Support Added To Coreboot
  10. 2014 Holiday Shopping Reminder, Happy Thanksgiving
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Aliens vs predator for Linux
  2. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  3. Hurrican SDL Port
  4. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  5. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  6. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  7. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  8. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k