Etnaviv Gallium3D May Eventually Tackle OpenCL

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 26 October 2017 at 06:34 AM EDT. 8 Comments
Two developers from the Pengutronix embedded Linux company out of Germany presented at this week's Embedded Linux Conference in Europe. There they talked about zero-copy video streaming on embedded systems, and as part of that, the Etnaviv open-source graphics driver.

Etnaviv for new Phoronix readers is the long-standing effort providing open-source, reverse-engineered graphics driver support for Vivante graphics. Developers at Pengutronix have been among those working on the Etnaviv driver stack, which currently consists of an in-tree kernel DRM driver and Gallium3D driver in Mesa.

Right now the Etnaviv Gallium3D driver is basically around OpenGL ~2.0 support although most Vivante graphics hardware is capable of OpenGL ES 3.1. It's a long road ahead but in the past few years has already been immense progress for this reverse-engineered embedded graphics driver.

During the embedded Linux talk this week, Michael Tretter and Philipp Zabel of Pengutronix spoke of some future work on Etnaviv. Future work for Mesa/etnaviv include NV12 and YUYV texture import support, direct sampling abilities from linear buffers, and OpenCL support.

OpenCL support for Etnaviv would be interesting to see and most likely implemented along the "Clover" OpenCL Gallium3D state tracker route, considering that will already do a fair amount of the heavy lifting needed to get the compute support going. Most Vivante hardware is capable of OpenCL 1.2 compliance.

Though considering the work done by R600g and Nouveau on attempting Clover OpenCL, it's still no easy task at hand. It will certainly be interesting to see if/when they begin on Etnaviv OpenCL support.

Etnaviv OpenCL support may also prove interesting as Purism's Librem 5 smartphone is slated to use the Etnaviv driver and this would allow for OpenCL support from this privacy-minded GNU/Linux smartphone.

Those wanting to learn more about zero-copy video with Pengutronix's ELCE 2017 presentation can find the slide deck here (PDF).
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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