Linaro Aims To Unify Linux Memory Management
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 18 April 2011 at 11:30 AM EDT. 1 Comment
Last month I noted some of the problems facing embedded Linux on ARM SoCs in terms of graphics drivers with regard to the variety of memory management APIs available (for graphics there's primarily TTM and GEM within the kernel but also there's other options: HWMEM, UMP, CMA, VCM, CMEM, and PMEM). There's also other graphics driver problems in the ARM world, but the Linaro group has announced they've taken up the issue of embedded Linux memory management for graphics and other areas. They're forming a working group to hopefully work towards resolving this issue for their next six-month development cycle.

Following a discussion about GPU and multimedia device integration, Linaro and other ARM stakeholders will be working towards a unified memory management solution for embedded systems that support multiple architectures and SoCs.

A preliminary discussion was held at the Linux Foundation's Embedded Linux Conference last week and another embedded memory management meeting will take place during the Ubuntu Developers' Summit next month in Budapest. They also plan to have another discussion in September during the Santa Rosa Linux Plumbers' Conference. As part of this special interest group, there's also a dedicated mailing list to the topic.

Additional details can be found on the Linaro Wiki for graphics and the mailing list announcement. Embedded memory management is considered a priority item for graphics along with system-wide GPU profiling and benchmarking for OpenGL ES 2.0 / compositing.

Now if only more embedded SoC vendors were concerned with providing open-source graphics driver stacks...

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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