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ARM Talks Mali Vulkan, Lack Of Open Drivers & More @ Linaro Budapest 17

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  • #21
    The problem is the business model which ARM has built itself around. They split up licensing of IP into numerous chunks for both hardware and software. For example, if you license a 3D GPU architecture, you do not automatically get the software IP. The software IP is separately licensed for different operating systems and APIs. For example, you can get the driver support for Linux but not Android. It is not as fine grain down to the API but that's starting to happen with Vulkan/OpenCL/Compute because they require massive amounts of work in software. Some hardware vendors do not want to pay for the software bits that they have no paying customers for. It hard to wrap your head around because ARM's model is the very opposite model to the buffet model that consumers are driving towards.
    Last edited by LoveRPi; 11 March 2017, 10:13 PM.


    • #22
      The situation sounds pretty dire.

      Pretty much unsupportable even if one didn't care at all about software freedom.
      Every Mali board vendor has their own board/revision specific binaries with extra restrictions and support for decoding hardware not from Mali, which they know nothing about.

      In addition, They do not upstream their kernel kms driver, and as a result dts bindings are all vendor specific as well.

      The presenter said ARM graphics views the userspace driver as a _product_ they _sell_ to hardware vendors.
      Come on, ARM! The hardware is the product! You are being left in the dust because you fail to leverage the community process which works.

      That sounds like the root of the problem.


      • #23
        Originally posted by phoronix View Post
        lack of current open-source drivers due to lack of customer demand...
        More like lack of customers. Samsung is the last big vendor to use Mali GPU cores and should come true, that is about to come to an end as well.


        • #24
          Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post

          More like lack of customers. Samsung is the last big vendor to use Mali GPU cores and should come true, that is about to come to an end as well.
          I'd expect that with mediatek, allwinner, hisilicon (kirin), and rockchip all using mali gpus they can probably manage to keep the ac on.


          • #25
            does anyone remember the days of the Intel PXE StrongArm chips, which used the ATI Imageon W100 GPU?

            how times have changed. Intel sold their Arm licence to Marvell, and blew wads of cash on Atom. Intel bought GPUs from ImgTech and screwed up the driver licensing leading to headaches for anyone buying a GMA500 or GMA600 based machine.

            ATI got bought by AMD, and AMD now make Arm chips.

            who could have imagined all that?


            • #26
              p.s. I didn't know that Intel were a significant shareholder in ImgTech.