VC4 Gallium3D Lands Some Minor Optimizations, 2016 Was Great For This RPi 3D Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 30 December 2016 at 03:00 AM EST. Add A Comment
Broadcom developer Eric Anholt pushed a few VC4 Gallium3D commits into mainline Mesa tonight, likely marking the end of work on this open-source Raspberry Pi 3D driver for 2016.

The VC4 Gallium3D work tonight included rework scheduling of the thread switch to cut one more NOP. This reduced the number of instructions in affected programs by up to 2.5%. Anholt also landed a change to fill thread switching delay slots that with shader-db drops the instructions in affected shader programs by up to 6.25%. Eric also enabled NIR-based loop unrolling for the VC4 driver as part of his latest VC4 commits.

Overall this VC4 Gallium3D driver and VC4 DRM driver made much progress this year. For those wondering the major milestones for this open-source Raspberry Pi graphics driver in 2016:

Raspbian Now Ships With Experimental Support For The New VC4 OpenGL Driver
A new release of the Raspberry Pi's Debian-based "Raspbian" Linux distribution is now available. This release based off Debian Jessie adds in experimental support for the Pi's new open-source, OpenGL Linux graphics driver stack!

Trying Out The VC4 OpenGL Gallium3D Driver On The Raspberry Pi 2
With this week's Raspbian update offering experimental OpenGL support via the open-source VC4 driver stack for the Raspberry Pi 2, I decided to try enabling this feature.

Raspberry Pi VC4 DRM Changes For Linux 4.8
Eric Anholt at Broadcom has sent in his VC4 DRM driver changes of material for DRM-Next to in turn land with the Linux 4.8 kernel.

Raspberry Pi's VC4 DRM Driver In Linux 4.7 Will Bring DPI Panel Support
For those making use of DPI panels with the Raspberry Pi but haven't been able to try out the open-source VC4 driver stack rather than the binary blob due to its lack of DPI support, that is changing in Linux 4.7.

Lower Memory Use For The VC4 Raspberry Pi Gallium3D Driver
One of the latest initiatives worked on by Eric Anholt at Broadcom for the VC4 Gallium3D driver -- the open-source driver used most famously by the Raspberry Pi hardware -- is lower memory use.

Raspberry Pi VC4 DRM Driver Is Getting Runtime Power Management & GPU Reset
The VC4 DRM kernel open-source driver for providing display support on Raspberry Pi devices is in the process of getting runtime power management and GPU reset capabilities.

Raspberry Pi VC4 Works On ETC1 Support, Power Management Tweaks
Eric Anholt at Broadcom continues to be busy hacking on the open-source VC4 DRM+Gallium3D stack for providing fully open-source Raspberry Pi graphics stack support.

Raspberry Pi VC4 Graphics Driver Working To Support QPU Shaders
The latest Raspberry Pi graphics driver hacking by Eric Anholt of Broadcom has been working to support QPU shaders by this open-source driver stack. QPUs are the shader core of the graphics hardware found in the Raspberry Pi SoC, but come up short of supporting OpenCL or OpenGL compute shaders.

HDMI Audio Support Being Worked On For Raspberry Pi VC4
Broadcom developer Eric Anholt's latest work on the VC4 DRM kernel driver for Raspberry Pi hardware is for enabling HDMI audio support.

The VC4 Open-Source Driver Stack Will Work With The Raspberry Pi 3
For those wondering whether the open-source VC4 graphics driver stack would work out-of-the-box on the new Raspberry Pi 3...
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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