OpenChrome Still Aspiring For Open-Source VIA Graphics, But Not Going Mainline This Year

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 23 October 2019 at 03:40 AM EDT. 5 Comments
At the X.Org Developers Conference earlier this month Kevin Brace provided an update on the state of the OpenChrome project that he continues to single handedly push forward.

While it has been over a decade since VIA x86 graphics were remotely common, Brace continues working on the OpenChrome DRM driver as a learning instrument and a passion for old hardware -- he also has contributed maintenance patches to SiS, S3 Graphics, and other DDX drivers left unmaintained.

His XDC2019 update on OpenChrome comes down to hoping to release xf86-video-openchrome 0.7 eventually (it's been talked about for nearly two years at least), the OpenChrome kernel mode-setting code has essentially achieved parity with the user-space mode-setting code recently in the DDX driver, and there is now legacy universal plane support in the KMS code.

The main blocker though for getting the OpenChrome DRM/KMS driver into the mainline tree is needing to support the KMS "atomic" interfaces. That's been a requirement now for a while for all new DRM/KMS drivers and due to the work involved plus still working on other driver fixes has meant that it's been very slow to materialize for this open-source VIA driver. As such, OpenChrome won't be part of the Linux 5.5 merge window to end out 2019 and will still likely be a ways out from seeing mainline.

He does have hopes for in the future being able to accomplish command submission based 2D/EXA acceleration, double buffering support, and potentially even video and 3D acceleration but that would be quite a tall order.

More details on the 2019 state of OpenChrome via the slide deck (PDF).
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