Samsung Works On More Upstream ARM Linux Kernel Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 2 September 2011 at 08:23 AM EDT. Add A Comment
It seems that Samsung is quite interested in pushing upstream Linux kernel support for their ARM-based Exynos 4210 SoC. Besides pushing an open-source DRM kernel graphics driver, they have been working on other areas of upstream Linux kernel support for this SoC that employs a dual-core Cortex A9.

Hitting the mailing list overnight (this time it's LM_Sensors) is the latest revision of a new driver that is for the Exynos 4-series TMU. This driver for the Samsung Exynos Thermal Management Unit (TMU) allows the SoC temperature to be exposed via conventional means with LM_Sensors. This work, like the Exynos 4210 DRM, was done officially by Samsung engineers.

Meanwhile, those on the graphics side continue hashing out plans for the Samsung Exynos 4210 kernel graphics driver. For those wondering why Samsung's Exynos may be the first ARM SoC with an open-source DRM driver in the mainline Linux kernel, while Qualcomm and Texas Instruments failed, David Airlie has an answer. As the maintainer of the DRM tree in the Linux kernel, he wrote on the Phoronix Forums, "The driver contains no userspace interfaces beyond standard KMS ones, you can't use to submit command streams to any hidden 3D piece etc. The Freescale iMX51 driver is off a similiar setup. Once they get to command submission things get back to the same place." So this Exynos driver doesn't do much, but at least it has kernel mode-setting. The Freescale DRM driver he mentions is this one.

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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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