Difference between revisions of "Create Free Software PowerVR GPU driver"

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(add OSS PowerVR GPU proposal - first draft)
 
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; Summary: Create Open Source PowerVR GPU driver
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; Summary: Create Software (Libre) PowerVR GPU driver
  
 
; Proposer: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
 
; Proposer: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
  
 
== Description ==
 
== Description ==
PowerVR in an important GPU used by lots of SoCs used in embedded Linux products.
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PowerVR in an important GPU used by lots of SoCs used in embedded Linux and other products,
There is currently no Free Software 3D SoC Driver for PowerVR
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[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PowerVR_products#Series5_.28SGX.29 as shown here].
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There is currently no Free Software 3D SoC Driver for PowerVR.
  
 
The proposal is to begin to reverse-engineer the PowerVR GPU, which
 
The proposal is to begin to reverse-engineer the PowerVR GPU, which
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It appears unlikely that embedded GPU companies will provide
 
It appears unlikely that embedded GPU companies will provide
open source drivers of their own accord, so investing in independent
+
software (libre) drivers of their own accord, so investing in independent
 
development seems prudent.
 
development seems prudent.
  
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** See https://wiki.linaro.org/ChristianReis?action=AttachFile&do=view&target=embedded-gpu-lca-2011.pdf
 
** See https://wiki.linaro.org/ChristianReis?action=AttachFile&do=view&target=embedded-gpu-lca-2011.pdf
 
* [http://lkcl.net/laptop.html Free Laptop Project] - by Luke Leighton
 
* [http://lkcl.net/laptop.html Free Laptop Project] - by Luke Leighton
** Discusses some pricing issues with regard to  
+
** Discusses some pricing issues with regard to laptops based on free software
 
* http://code.google.com/p/gles6410 is another SoC 3D reverse-engineering project and is *not* PowerVR
 
* http://code.google.com/p/gles6410 is another SoC 3D reverse-engineering project and is *not* PowerVR
 
** It is called "FIMD" 3D which is used in 2 CPUs from Samsung - the S3C6410 and S5PC100
 
** It is called "FIMD" 3D which is used in 2 CPUs from Samsung - the S3C6410 and S5PC100
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* The Free Software Foundation lists PowerVR as a high priority for free software support
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** http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects/index_html/#powervr
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** http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:PowerVR_drivers - PowerVR driver wiki page
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  * http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=1223429#post1223429 [[Maemo]]
  
  
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  You can also add Intel CE4xxx SoC to this list.
 
  You can also add Intel CE4xxx SoC to this list.
  
Ben
 
  
 
[[Category:Project proposals 2011]]
 
[[Category:Project proposals 2011]]

Latest revision as of 22:54, 17 June 2012

Summary
Create Software (Libre) PowerVR GPU driver
Proposer
Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

Description

PowerVR in an important GPU used by lots of SoCs used in embedded Linux and other products, as shown here. There is currently no Free Software 3D SoC Driver for PowerVR.

The proposal is to begin to reverse-engineer the PowerVR GPU, which appears to be present in about 75% of the top-of-the-range ARM embedded CPUs. Work has already been done to establish the GPU's on-board RISC instruction set by a Polish free software developer. This work was done "passively" (by analysing the proprietary libraries). The work needs to be continued "actively", and a working OpenGL library created.

Reverse-engineering requires expensive proprietary disassembly tools and requires lots of patience and undisturbed concentration in order to maximise effectiveness.

In reverse-engineering, there are no guarantees - but you have to start somewhere. In this case, the MesaGL software library can substitute for the parts of the driver that *aren't* accelerated, thus (if care is taken) at least a working (if non-optimal) 3D SGX accelerated library can be provided throughout the project.

The list of CPUs with PowerVR includes Texas Instruments OMAP, AM Sitara and DaVinci CPUs, some of Freescale's iMX series, some of Samsung's ARM Cortex A8 and A9 CPUs, Marvell's armv7-compatible 1.2 to 2ghz CPUs, NXP's new Cortex A9 and Intel's "Poulsbo" GMA500 GPU.

It appears unlikely that embedded GPU companies will provide software (libre) drivers of their own accord, so investing in independent development seems prudent.

Related work

 * http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=1223429#post1223429 Maemo


Scope

Unknown - probably very large

Contractor Candidates

  • Luke Leighton

Comments

Luke has legally licensed and purchased commercial disassembly tools

Benjamin Zores writes:

You can also add Intel CE4xxx SoC to this list.