Igalia Working Towards Faster 2D Rendering For Older Raspberry Pi Boards

Written by Michael Larabel in Raspberry Pi on 16 July 2022 at 05:32 AM EDT. 38 Comments
Igalia developer Christopher Michael has begun a blog post series outlining the consulting firm's work on improving the accelerated 2D rendering for the Raspberry Pi 1 through Raspberry Pi 3 single board computers.

For those still using the older Raspberry Pi hardware prior to the current Raspberry Pi 4, the 2D rendering under X11 can be slow and problematic. Currently the Raspberry Pi official OS images disable GLAMOR 2D acceleration that uses OpenGL for accelerating 2D rendering with the X.Org Server. That current disabling is done since the GPU memory is limited to 256Mb and the system will crash in turn if (easily) running out of that memory. Thus right now with X11 it falls back to software rendering on these aging Arm SBCs.

Without GLAMOR enabled though, X11 rendering can be slow with the software-based rendering. Igalia though is working on overcoming this in being able to support accelerated rendering while using the xf86-video-modesetting driver but without GLAMOR.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

Christopher Michael has penned the first post in the series summing up the current situation but stopping short of revealing their plan of attack for overcoming this X11 accelerated rendering burden without exhausting the limited GPU memory on Raspberry Pi 1 to 3 hardware... That will be coming in the next part. The engineers at Igalia have been working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation on their open-source graphics stack for the Broadcom graphics used by the Raspberry Pi boards.
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