ARM Mali 400/450 "Lima" DRM Driver Steps Closer To Mainline

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 19 May 2018 at 06:53 PM EDT. 7 Comments
When it comes to open-source ARM Mali graphics driver efforts there has been the Panfrost driver targeting the Mali T700 series that has occupied much of the limelight recently, but there has been a separate effort still working on open-source driver support for the older 400/450 series.

Qiang Yu who works for AMD during the daytime has for the past number of months been working in his spare time on reviving open-source ARM Mali 400 series support. Qiang's efforts are based upon the original "Lima" driver initiative that was started years earlier by Luc Verhaegen.

The original Lima driver team is no longer active on the project, but Qiang Yu has been working to push the code forward and the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver is closer to potentially being merged to the mainline kernel.

This weekend he submitted a 24-patch RFC series seeking comments on this Lima DRM driver. This kernel driver supports the ARM Mali 400/450 GPUs and is the code that's making use of the common-ized AMDGPU scheduler.

This DRM driver doesn't yet support power management or some other features, but it's workable and amounts to over five and a half thousand lines of code at this stage. Qiang Yu has also been working on an ARM Mali Gallium3D driver but that will likely be some more time until that would be ready for mainlining in Mesa.

It will be interesting to see if this ARM Mali DRM driver makes it into the mainline kernel in the upcoming months considering there still is a large number of cheap ARM tablets/SBCs relying upon the older Mali 400/450 tech.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

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

Popular News This Week