Linaro Decides On Memory Management APIs
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 12 May 2011 at 02:54 AM EDT. 1 Comment
For the past three days at UDS Budapest there's been a mini summit to work on deciding about what to do for video memory management on SoC/embedded devices. The open-source graphics drivers for desktops/notebooks are fine with GEM/TTM, but they don't work so well for System-on-Chip designs. The hope from this mini-summit was to lay the groundwork to solve this issue and they hope they have come up with an attack plan.

Back in April there were hopes by the Linaro developers to unify the Linux video memory management APIs so that there could be more to share between embedded and desktop/mobile graphics, etc. There were some concerns over these plans as it possibly just being a fork of GEM or the like.

After three afternoons of debating, the outcome is that the new Linaro video memory management solution will involve extending the DMA and IOMMU APIs. Once the DMA and IOMMU APIs have been extended to their liking, an effort will be made to move to a single sub-system (more than likely using GEM buffers) and the ability to pass these buffers between sub-systems. GEM and CMA will need to be slightly re-worked as a result.

The official notes for the UDS Budapest Linaro graphics memory management mini-summit can be found for day 3, day 2, and day 1.

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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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