Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Merged Into Mesa 19.1 For Open-Source ARM Mali Graphics
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 4 February 2019 at 09:00 PM EST. 17 Comments
MESA --
The in-development Mesa 19.1 graphics stack release due out next quarter will feature a new Gallium3D driver... The initial Panfrost driver for open-source, reverse-engineered ARM Mali graphics hardware support of newer generations.

Panfrost Gallium3D is the 3D open-source graphics driver component currently targeting ARM's Mali Midgard and Bifrost generations of graphics hardware. Midgard is from the Mali T604 through T880 while Bifrost is the G31 through the current-generation G76.

As outlined last month, this initial Panfrost driver code for mainline is quite rudimentary. There is very basic winsys integration now, initial toolchain support, etc, but the kernel-side bits have yet to be mainlined for making a nice and suitable for end-user complete working 3D driver stack. Additionally, Panfrost only tackles OpenGL and not yet any OpenCL or Vulkan that is capable by the proprietary ARM Mali drivers on recent chips.

The "stub" driver for Panfrost is just over three thousand lines of code while the Midgard shader toolchain is more than six thousand lines of code. It will be interesting to see what more of Panfrost works its way into the Mesa 19.1 release that will debut as stable around the end of May.
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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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