TI Prepares Its Open DRM/KMS OMAP Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 15 October 2011 at 08:38 AM EDT. 1 Comment
Texas Instruments has put out a new version of its DRM/KMS Linux driver for OMAP platforms as it prepares to hopefully see this open-source graphics driver merged into the mainline Linux kernel.

Rob Clark of Texas Instruments released the third version of its "omapdrm" driver that provides basic DRM/KMS support for OMAP hardware from TI. This comes just days after talking about the Linux 3.2 kernel DRM and how Samsung's Exynos DRM driver was merged into the drm-core-next tree as the first ARM DRM driver that will be introduced in this next major kernel release after Linux 3.1.

Like the Samsung Exynos 4210 open-source DRM driver, the TI OMAP DRM driver doesn't support any 3D bits used by a closed-up user-space or other complications that prevented past DRM drivers for ARM SoCs from being merged into the mainline kernel tree (read The Embedded Linux GPU Mess & How It Can Be Fixed and Qualcomm's Open Kernel Driver Leads To A Dirty Mess).

While Texas Instruments might not have an open-source Mesa / Gallium3D driver for OMAP, it does have an open-source X.Org driver that can play along with this omapdrm driver. There's an xf86-video-omap DDX (hosted on GitHub).

This OMAP DRM driver is similar to the already existing OMAP fbdev and OMAP V4L2 drivers. The driver uses the DSS2 driver to access the display hardware and outputs. GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) support is implemented for buffer allocation and the xf86-video-omap driver respects this kernel memory manager too. Differing a bit from the other DRM drivers, the scan-out buffers are allocated using CMA (the Continuous Memory Allocator) since these buffers must reside in physically contiguous memory. The Contiguous Memory Allocator is for the ARM architecture and its patches for mainline were published back in August (the LKML thread).

With this Texas Instruments OMAP driver having gone through three public revisions already, it will hopefully be ready for merging now or in the very near future. It would be a candidate for the Linux 3.2 kernel or otherwise it's on the table for the Linux 3.3 kernel in another couple of months.
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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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