VIA Keeps Trying For Kernel Inclusion Of Its DRM
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA on 03 November 2009 at 10:18 AM EST. 20 Comments
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Last December the Linux folks at VIA Technologies had released their Chrome 9 series DRM code, which is needed for Linux 3D support with these newer-generation VIA IGPs, but this initial version ended up getting rejected from inclusion into the mainline kernel on the basis of the rest of VIA's 3D stack for the Chrome 9 being closed-source and some problems with the code itself. The situation was similar to that of Intel's Poulsbo DRM being rejected from reaching the mainline Linux kernel earlier this year.

This July the Chrome 9 DRM was re-released with aspirations of getting it in the mainline Linux kernel, but it was virtually the same as December's version and it too got knocked down for inclusion on the basis of no open-source "clients" using this Direct Rendering Manager driver and security issues with the code itself.

In August there was then another new VIA 2D driver released, but unlike the various other VIA Linux drivers out there, this one actually uses the new DRM code. This makes the DRM code at least useful by an open-source 2D driver, but within this Chrome 9 DRM remains the 3D bits too, which is not used by an open-source code at this time nor has VIA even released any code samples to test the 3D portion of this DRM for sanity and security.

VIA though is now pushing once again for getting its Chrome 9 DRM in the mainline Linux kernel. Last week VIA's Bruce Chang sent in a request to the dri-devel mailing list and to the official kernel DRM maintainer, David Airlie, but it was met by no responses at all -- positive or negative. This VIA Unichrome DRM adds support for an ACPI suspend/resume issue, an interfaces for communication with ddmpeg and V4L, and a fix for a video hang issue caused by a verification function. With no responses, Bruce this morning pinged everyone again. No developers have yet to respond to this latest request, and it's quite up in the air whether this DRM will actually get pulled in this time, but we will continue to monitor the situation.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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