Imagination PowerVR Rogue DRM Linux Kernel Driver Out For Review

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 23 August 2022 at 05:58 AM EDT. 8 Comments
Earlier this year was the surprise announcement of Imagination publishing an open-source PowerVR Vulkan driver for Mesa. That driver has since been mainlined in Mesa and the Imagination developers continue working on improving their Vulkan API coverage. Simultaneously they have been working on a proper, upstream-friendly open-source DRM/KMS kernel driver and that code now is far enough along that it's been sent out for initial review.

Imagination Tech engineers sent out their initial DRM driver that is a clean sheet driver for PowerVR graphics. Like their Vulkan driver, the Direct Rendering Manager driver is intended for their Rogue architecture and newer. The hardware currently being tested on and their primary focus are the GX6250, AXE-1-16M, and BXS-4-64 GPUs.

This Imagination PVR DRM driver has wired up support for DMA-BUF, PRIME, DRM sync objects, per-context virtual address spaces, power management, render job submission, compute job submission, GPU hang recovery, and more. But there still is work left around the areas of supporting their RISC-V firmware processor, GPU hang detection, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, transfer job submission, and more.

This DRM kernel driver for PowerVR Rogue hardware is currently just shy of 32k lines of code. The "request for comments" patch of this initial driver under review can be found on the kernel mailing list.

This is great news along with their Vulkan driver in Mesa continuing to advance. For OpenGL support they intend to use Zink atop their Vulkan driver. It's too bad though Imagination didn't start open-sourcing and upstreaming their driver work years ago when PowerVR graphics were very popular among Arm SoCs...
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