A New Open-Source KMS Driver Just Published
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 7 June 2011 at 09:20 AM EDT. 1 Comment
Embedded GPUs on Linux are a big mess due to their lack of fully open-source drivers, memory management complications, and other technical issues. However, there is some good news to report today and that's on the emergence of a new open-source KMS driver.

Sascha Hauer, a German developer, has presented to the DRI development list a brand new open-source KMS driver. This is the initial KMS driver for the Freescale i.MX51 and i.MX53 SoCs. Freescale's i.MX51 is a low-end SoC targeted for Google Chrome OS netbooks and the like while the i.MX53 is a much more powerful chip with better graphics capabilities.

While there is this driver now available, right now it doesn't do anything beyond kernel mode-setting. There is not yet any user-space Gallium3D / Mesa driver nor is there proper GEM/TTM memory management support. This Freescale KMS driver is just similar to the open-source GMA500 Poulsbo driver that provides KMS support, but not much more.

The i.MX51/53 driver isn't yet ready to be merged into the mainline Linux kernel, but Sascha says it's far enough along where he's seeking comments from other developers.

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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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