A Slew Of Patches For The Intel "GMA500" Driver
Phoronix: A Slew Of Patches For The Intel "GMA500" Driver
At the beginning of the month I mentioned Intel's Alan Cox was working on GMA500 driver improvements, namely to add support for the next-generation Intel Atom processors that will carry PowerVR-derived graphics capabilities, similar to the notorious "Poulsbo" hardware. In the past week, Alan has now published more than 50 patches against the open-source "GMA500" driver that provides basic KMS support for the Intel hardware with graphics IP originating from Imagination Technologies...
I could care less about acceleration. These are weak-ass chips that go with weak-ass cpus and otherwise weak-ass systems. Mode setting is plenty.
I don't like to be a language nazi over the internet, but "could care less" doesn't make sense with what you've written here. The following video explains it all (worth watching, particularly if you like David Mitchell, which you should).
Originally Posted by droidhacker
Last edited by archibald; 07-12-2011 at 01:24 PM.
If this results in my GMA500 device actually *working at all* then I will be happy. There is no VESA mode for my screen, and it has never actually worked at it's native resolution. I just want to see something on the screen at this point without having to dig around for binary blobs or start compiling stuff - acceleration doesn't matter to me at *all*.
KMS != GPU driver
Note that in embedded devices (PowerVR's home domain) the GPU and the display hardware are usually completely separate IPs that could come from different vendors. I don't know anything about GMA500, but the display controller part i.e. the part that scans out frame buffers to screen (the part that is controlled by KMS) could be an intel IP alltogether.
These patches give no indication of *anything* from PowerVR having open source drivers... As I see it this is just the intel parts of GMA500.
looks like Intel is loosing it.
1) their open source graphic stack is feature-inferior to their closed stack (for Holes-in-the-wallsŪ OS)
2) they do no efforts and have no plans to migrate to advanced open source tech (Gallium)
3) their "low-power solutions" (Atoms) are crap compared to ARM and only reason they are popular at all is that Holes-in-the-wallsŪ OS and most of software for it do not run on ARM and even x86_64.
4) looks like they ditching any plans for their own GPUs for their own "low-power solutions"
5) stuffing up proprietary and highly restricted chips of the third party on their "low-power solutions" instead
6) reading support for those even more half-assed than even their "obsolete" GPUs could ever [don't] have.
(recently people brought me a laptop with "GM45" which would disable its backlight with KMS and stay dark and completely unusable. i made a hack resetting 'F4.B' value to zero every 10 seconds so owner could use it somehow but that's completely fucked up. and that's not counting that old Intel chips 'acceleration' is completely worthless and buggy too)
so, if you are not a Holes-in-the-wallsŪ OS user, you have no reason to buy Intel's future "low-power solutions" and everything based on them and quite an opposite - plenty to stay the fuck away.
damn, i wish the times when you could buy an ARM-based laptop not restricted as Nvidia's Tegra bullshit and with complete OSS support would come already :( but for now, i will use AMD-based stuff, thank you very much.
I Agree with you that Intels decition are not the best, but at least we have an not that bad open driver. But I dont get what you do mean with the arm chips. show me one good current arm chip in a notebook or something where there are good full-opensource drivers?
Originally Posted by dfx.
Without open grafic stack arm can be 10 times faster and 10 times more power efficient I wont buy it. And its no alternative against x86 (+64bit).
Not by much, as far as I know. It's at least more feature-complete than AMD's OSS stack, and Nvidia doesn't even provide an OSS stack. At least they have decent OpenGL and video acceleration, at least on i965.
Originally Posted by dfx.
The only advantage of migrating to Gallium is that it's easier to write a performant driver. Gallium doesn't make the driver faster or more advanced; it just makes it easier to write a fast driver. Intel has put enough work into its i965 classic driver to make it as optimized as st/mesa. The i915 driver could benefit from Gallium, but they only maintain it for bug fixing purposes and aren't trying to add any new features to it as far as I know.
Originally Posted by dfx.
So how is this going to benefit Poulsbo users? It sounds like Pouslbo has been written off and they are just working on the next generation.
if you want a working GMA500
It is possible to make a working system, and it is not that hard. The situation is not ideal, but doable.
I have a Dell Mini 12 running Xubuntu 11.10 Oneiric and using the EMGD driver. I have 2D and 3D acceleration and xv. A patched Mplayer and VAAPI are also expected. With 11.04 all the pieces have been in place for some time. It runs reliably and even the brightness keyboard keys work. It is certainly fast enough to surf the net, watch windowed YouTube videos and even standard res avi in full screen. Libreoffice works fine with no typing lag (at least at the rate I type).
Just do a text install from an alternate install image and then go to https://launchpad.net/~gma500/+archive/emgd-1.8/ and add the PPA and follow the instructions. This work is also ported to Arch Linux.
A test image of Ubuntu 11.10 has also been created with EMGD pre-installed.
Post by Lucazade about half way down with link to test image
A bit more work than a normal install, but a perfectly usable finished product. My Xubuntu also needed an audio fix, the deatils are in the above forum.