Imagination Posts Original Driver Code For PowerVR Series 1 GPUs As Open-Source

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 23 March 2022 at 07:31 AM EDT. 21 Comments
In addition to Imagination working on a open-source PowerVR Vulkan driver for their newest graphics IP within Mesa, Imagination Technologies has also decided to go back and publish their original PowerVR Series 1 macOS/Windows driver as open-source.

For hobbyists or those wishing to explore the sources of old drivers, Imagination decided to publish their PowerVR Series 1 Windows/Mac driver as open-source under an MIT license all these years later.

PowerVR Series 1 with graphics card models PCX1 / PCZ2 / Midas3 are from the late 90's and focused on the DirectX 3.0 and PowerSGL APIs at the time. PowerVR Series 1 accelerators had just 2~4MB of SDR video memory, 60~66MHz clock speeds, and for their time were satisfactory for budget gaming while not being nearly as popular (or powerful) as the 3DFX Voodoo series.

More than twenty years later, Imagination has released the original driver sources to their PowerVR Series 1 graphics.

The PowerVR Series 1 driver source code release is mainly being done for reference purposes. The code drop notes, "The original driver source code for the PowerVR Series 1 GPUs : Midas arcade, PCX1 and PCX2. This source code is provided as a reference, without any guarantees that it will compile, or function correctly when compiled."

Some code also is left out due to licensing issues though said to be limited to use by the Tomb Raider game at the time.

Those wanting to dive into some late 90's PowerVR driver sources can find the blessed code drop release on GitHub.
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