The VIA TTM/GEM Patch Appears Ready
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA on 17 January 2011 at 03:41 PM EST. 6 Comments
Just one month ago an independent developer began working on VIA TTM/GEM support for the VIA kernel DRM driver along with VIA kernel mode-setting support, even while VIA's open-source Linux strategy is dead. Just a few weeks later, James Simmons' VIA TTM/GEM memory management patches are now ready.

James has written to the OpenChrome mailing list and has sent along a patch that provides this readied TTM (Translation Table Maps) and GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) support for the limited DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) driver living within the Linux kernel.

This patch is set to go against David Airlie's drm-next branch of the kernel. This patch that plugs-in the new memory management back-end will still work with existing OpenChrome UMS (user-space mode-setting) installations. The driver works, but there's a few problems left to be solved, such as a kernel oops when unloading this DRM module. It can also be tried with the KMS branch to benefit from kernel mode-setting.

The patch can currently be found here. In just about one month, with one developer getting TTM/GEM support hooked in, it's sad that VIA couldn't get it done back when they had Linux plans in 2009 and still the TTM/GEM support was months out or that it couldn't be tackled by any of the OpenChrome community developers. Let's see though if this patch will be fully ironed out and make it into the Linux 2.6.39 kernel or another release in the near future.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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