Lima: Liberating ARM's Mali GPU

Luc Verhaegen (

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While everything is pretty much said and done on the x86 graphics front, and all the players have taken their respective positions and stick by it (despite ones best efforts), nothing has been done for the ARM world, even with the massive market penetration the linux and ARM combination currently has. The Mali is ARM's own GPU that is rapidly gaining traction. The most popular high end android smartphone so far is Samsung's Galaxy S2. The Mali-400 present in the Exynos SoC of the Galaxy S2 has been leader of the benchmarks for quite a bit. Besides the exynos, Mali is present in a rapidly growing number of SoCs, including telechips, allwinner, amlogic, realtek, VIA, etc. The OpenGLES2.0 capable (and thus with separate vertex and fragment shaders) Mali is a highly clean design, and, of all the possible ARM GPUs, the perfect candidate for a free software driver. This talk will explain the rationale behind this project, the methodology used, the current status and the future direction. At the end, the current functionality (which is rapidly growing) will be demoed on both Mali-200 and Mali-400 based hardware.

Über den Autor Luc Verhaegen: Luc has been writing graphics drivers since 2003 and has a track-record of doing things that are deemed impossible. He paved the way for algorithmic, bios-free modesetting with his work on VIAs Unichrome, which, apart from having spawned modern modesetting paradigms, also made the first commercial motherboard with full coreboot support possible. At SuSE, together with Egbert Eich and Matthias Hopf, he proved to AMD that a free and maintainable driver could be created for Radeon hardware, despite ATIs best attempts. Later on, he demonstrated the feasibility and flexibility of integrated graphics driver stacks and, as a follow-up, building DRI drivers externally to the still very monolithic Mesa, and even a rudimentary Mesa SDK. He is now happily hacking for Codethink, where doing impossible things is pretty much the hiring prerequisite.