There's An ARM Mali Gallium3D Driver Still Being Developed
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 25 November 2017 at 09:09 AM EST. 11 Comments
MESA --
Making the rounds this weekend online as a "new" ARM Mali open-source driver is what we wrote about back in June as A New Mali-400 Open-Source Graphics Driver Is In Development.

The yuq/mesa-lima continues to house an OpenGL driver for ARM Mali 400 series graphics processors. Unfortunately it doesn't support newer generations of Mali hardware, isn't full-functioning yet, and isn't part of Luc Verhaegen's former Lima graphics driver project that did the early reverse-engineering work around ARM's Mali graphics hardware.

It's good to see this driver continue to be developed with routine commits albeit mostly small work. The work is currently a branched version of Mesa 17.2. The work is largely done by Qiang Yu, who at least previously worked for AMD and is a contributor to the Linux Sun XI community.

The commit history to this Lima Gallium3D driver can be seen here and there continues to be activity at least every few days.

For using this Gallium3D driver is also this DRM kernel code being developed in tandem by Qiang Yu. The Lima DRM/KMS driver is currently based on a branched version of the Linux 4.13 kernel.

The Mali 400 series as a reminder has been around since 2008 and supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and found in SoCs like the Allwinner A10/A20/A33/A64. It will be interesting to see if and when this Lima Gallium3D driver and the associated DRM driver is ready for daily use by Mali 400 owners as well as what are the mainline ambitions for this Gallium3D driver.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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