We Have Poulsbo Hardware, But No Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 1 December 2009 at 09:03 PM EST. 38 Comments
For the past year we have been documenting the Intel Poulsbo Linux driver and how it is a bloody mess on the basis of it being a binary-only driver (in comparison to their fully open-source stack for their other IGPs) that is not well maintained, is not easy to procure outside of Ubuntu, and is ridden by other problems. Intel though is not solely at fault because the GMA 500 "Poulsbo" chipset is actually a product of PowerVR.

A month ago we learned that a new Poulsbo Linux driver is under development and that it would use Gallium3D and be a big improvement over the current Poulsbo driver stack, albeit it would remain closed-source.

A month has passed since sharing the news and this morning we finally got our hands on new Intel Poulsbo hardware. The folks over at the Israeli-based CompuLab company sent over their fit-PC2 system. The fit-PC2 system is incredibly small (just a bit more than 10cm wide) and runs off an Intel Atom Z530 processor with an Intel US15W SCH chipset that is complete with the Intel GMA 500 "Poulsbo" graphics. This small Atom + Poulsbo system arrived this morning, but sadly the supportive Gallium3D driver is not yet available.

We have learned that the updated kernel and Gallium3D drivers should have premiered with Moblin 2.1 that was released in November, but at the last minute Intel apparently diverted from their plans. We have no update as to when the new driver may reach the general public, but hopefully we will not be waiting for Moblin 2.2 in 2010. When we have more information it will be passed along, as we are certainly looking forward to the day of benchmarking this Intel Gallium3D driver.
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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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