VC5 Gallium3D Driver Becomes V3D, Enabled By Default In Mesa
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 17 May 2018 at 05:48 AM EDT. 3 Comments
MESA --
What was developed as the VC5 Gallium3D driver is now renamed to V3D and enabled by default in new Mesa 18.2 builds.

The Broadcom Video Core V driver that was already part of Mesa was renamed to V3D to match the name of the V3D DRM kernel driver. The VC5 to V3D renaming occurred since this driver is already supporting a VideoCore VC6 device, so the VC5 naming was no longer deemed appropriate.

It's with the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel merge window that the V3D DRM driver is being mainlined, so now was the time to rename the Gallium3D user-space OpenGL driver as well as to enable it by default. In the process this V3D code was updated to use the finalized V3D user-space ABI. While VC5 has long been part of the mainline Mesa tree, it was developed against a simulator and now this driver is ready for real hardware.

Broadcom VideoCore V is a new generation of graphics hardware succeeding VC4 that most notable is what's found in current generation Raspberry Pi hardware. VC5 hardware is now Vulkan and OpenCL capable, should be much faster, and also much more competent OpenGL support. We have seen VC5 hardware appear in some set-top boxes and such so far, but not yet any next-gen Raspberry Pi or other developer board. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before that dream is realized.

Eric Anholt of Broadcom has also been working on a "BCMV" Vulkan driver for the VideoCore V driver stack, but that has yet to be mainlined in Mesa.

The latest VC5/V3D changes to the Gallium3D driver are now available via Mesa Git for next quarter's Mesa 18.2 release.
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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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