Tamil: Bringing Open-Source Graphics To ARM's Mali T-Series

Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 8 January 2015 at 07:13 AM EST. 5 Comments
It's been a while since last having anything to report on the Lima graphics driver as the project by Luc Verhaegen to provide a open-source, reverse-engineered ARM Mali driver. While it's been a while, it seems Luc is still working on the driver -- or what he's now calling the "Tamil Driver" as the Lima driver for ARM's Mali T-series hardware.

Back in 2012 for FOSDEM was when Luc announced his Lima driver project while at FOSDEM 2015 coming up in a few weeks is when he'll be covering the Tamil driver.

Luc explains in his talk abstract for his presentation, "The Tamil driver is to the Mali T series GPUs what the lima driver is for the older Mali M200/400/450 GPUs. Libv did the preliminary command stream REing work in September 2013, by creating a command stream tracer (capable of capture and replay) and by exposing the binary shader compiler. Over the 2014 end of year period, he then spent some time decyphering various renders, and he will hopefully be showing off the first few native renders at FOSDEM."

This Tamil work sounds interest and hopefully is coming along nicely. While there still isn't a mainline Mesa/Gallium3D driver for the Lima driver on older Mali hardware, hopefully the Tamil driver will have better luck going forward in supporting the modern T-series with an open-source driver. When it comes to the Lima driver, there hasn't been any new updates posted to LimaDriver.org since March 2013.

The Mali T-series was first introduced in 2012 with the T-600 series while the newer T-700 series was introduced in late 2013. The Mali T-Series is capable of OpenGL ES 3.1 (compared to GLES 2.0 on older Mali hardware), OpenCL 1.1/1.2, OpenVG 1.1, and DirectX 11. Mali T-series graphics are found in various Samsung SoCs as well as some designs out of Rockchip and MediaTek, among others.
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