Reverse Engineering & Open-Source Driver Work Advancing For Arm's Valhall GPU

Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 28 January 2022 at 12:00 AM EST. 9 Comments
The Arm Mali Valhall architecture reverse-engineering started last summer and while limited in the reverse engineering capabilities for several months, it looks like by this summer we'll hopefully see a working driver for Arm's newer graphics IP.

Alyssa Rosenzweig who has spearheaded the Panfrost driver effort wrote a new blog post detailing the months-long effort so far for reverse-engineering Arm "Valhall" GPUs (Mali G57 and G78) with the goal of having a working open-source driver stack just as there is for prior Mali graphics hardware on Linux.

While initially limited to a non-rooted Android phone with a Mali G78, the reverse engineering commenced last year along with work on writing a shader compiler for Valhall. Towards the end of 2021, the Mesa fun began and Alyssa got her hands on a Chromebook with a Mediatek MT8192 SoC with a Mali G57 and has been able to better test the early code.

The milestone now achieved is getting the first passing test running on a real hardware using data structures prepared by the Mesa driver and shaders compiled using the new Valhall compiler. Per Alyssa's blog post, good progress is being made on Valhall and hopefully before too long there will be support in upstream Mesa.
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