Imagination Working On A New Open-Source Linux Graphics Driver Project
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 14 February 2020 at 07:47 AM EST. 56 Comments
MESA --
While many in the Linux community still cringe when hearing Imagination Tech's PowerVR given the troubling state of their graphics drivers over the years, in 2020 it looks like they are pursuing a new open-source graphics driver project.

Imagination is now hiring for skilled driver developers to be "a founder of our new Linux open source graphics driver project." Imagination is currently hiring for Linux open-source graphics drivers. This just isn't an open kernel driver but is said to be both for open-source kernel and Mesa drivers. "We need you to join the Linux driver development team and put your software development skills to the test. You will focus on developing a new Linux open source graphics driver stack, including Mesa and kernel-mode drivers. You will be a member of a small team, working alongside other software teams implementing the existing driver stack for PowerVR graphics hardware."

This open-source driver would be for both current and next-gen graphics hardware.


I'm cautiously optimistic, but let's not forget five years ago Imagination was also hiring for open-source graphics driver developers and not much came out of that effort. Hell for nearly a decade has been talk at different times of varying open-source PowerVR drivers.

At least compared to years ago, these days there are multiple embedded graphics processors supported by open-source kernel DRM drivers and within Mesa a growing number of drivers like Freedreno/Turnip, Broadcom V3D, Panfrost, and others. With support for licensing PowerVR graphics for even SiFive RISC-V SoCs now, having an open-source driver does make this possibility more appealing. Let's hope in 2020 it becomes a reality with a Linux kernel and Mesa driver stack for Imagination PowerVR graphics.
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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 20,000 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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