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Samsung Puts Out New Open-Source ARM DRM Driver

Hardware

Published on 26 August 2011 08:37 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
29 Comments

Samsung has published the code to a new open-source DRM driver for its EXYNOS4210 System-On-a-Chip. The EXYNOS4210 has impressive 3D graphics capabilities, uses the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, and is used in various smart-phones. The Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the smart-phones using the Exynos 4210 SoC. Samsung is hoping to push this DRM driver into the mainline Linux kernel.

Samsung engineers previously released two revisions of this driver code, which received some feedback from developers over the past month, and they have now released the polished (third version) that incorporates the changes. This Samsung DRM driver with kernel mode-setting support uses the Intel GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) for buffer management and DMA APIs for buffer allocation. FIMD is only supported right now but HDMI support is said to come at some point in the future.

It's not clear though whether this Samsung EXYNOS driver will be accepted into the mainline Linux kernel tree since there doesn't appear to yet be any open-source user-space side with an X.Org DDX driver, Gallium3D driver, or anything similar.

If there isn't any open-source user-space side to stress these kernel bits, chances are it will be rejected since embedded GPUs are a big mess. Texas Instruments and Qualcomm both ran into similar situations in the past with only putting out open-source kernel drivers while keeping the rest of their Linux graphics stack closed-up. Who knows though what will happen with this Samsung driver as times are changing.

Find the open-source code to the Samsung EXYNOS 4210 DRM driver in this mailing list message. This would be the first ARM SoC DRM driver to go mainline.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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