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Open Source Graphics Software

Broadcom Releases Source For Graphics Stack; Raspberry Pi Sets Bounty For Port 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the ever-more-free dept.
One of the few but lingering complaints about the Raspberry Pi is that it relies on a proprietary GPU blob for communication between the graphics drivers and the hardware. Today, Broadcom released the full source for the OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 driver stack for the Broadcom VideoCore IV 3D graphics subsystem running on one of its popular cellphone systems-on-a-chip. It's available under a BSD license, and Broadcom provided documentation for the graphics core as well. The SoC in question is similar to the one used on the Raspberry Pi, and Eben Upton says making a port should be 'relatively straightforward.' The Raspberry Pi Foundation has offered a $10,000 bounty for the first person who can demonstrate a functional port. (The test for functionality is, of course, being able to run Quake III Arena.) Upton says, 'This isn't the end of the road for us: there are still significant parts of the multimedia hardware on BCM2835 which are only accessible via the blob. But we're incredibly proud that VideoCore IV is the first publicly documented mobile graphics core, and hope this is the first step towards a blob-free future for Raspberry Pi.' Side note: the RPi is now two years old, and has sold 2.5 million units.
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Broadcom Releases Source For Graphics Stack; Raspberry Pi Sets Bounty For Port

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  • Re:Communication? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @04:10PM (#46370641)

    Some people are never happy. Fortunately, with 2.5M sold, a lot of people are happy, and don't really care about propriety blobs.

    This news reduces the size of the closed source code, but more importantly now means Android can be ported.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @04:11PM (#46370655)

    The OTG host is now relatively bomb-proof as far as USB2.0 high-speed devices (i.e. onboard network) are concerned. Of course, performance and total throughput is never going to be on a par with EHCI hosts because, well, BCM2835 has an ARM11 performing the job that the EHCI controller otherwise does.

    In the last few weeks a major rewrite has been pushed that, following some beta testing, should squash the remaining issues with the Achilles heel (USB1.1 devices on a USB2.0 host - via split transactions) and at least draw a line in the sand saying "these are the things that work flawlessly, and these are the things that will never work". The aim is to make the second set of devices an extremely small one.

    Disclaimer: I am the guy that's spent the last 6 months slaving over a dual-port USB2.0/OTG analyzer figuring out *ALL* the damn bugs.

  • by CajunArson (465943) on Friday February 28, 2014 @04:15PM (#46370691) Journal

    Upton sez: "But we're incredibly proud that VideoCore IV is the first publicly documented mobile graphics core,"

    Uh.. considering that the graphics cores in Baytrail tablet chips have had open source drivers in the mainline Linux kernel since at least early last year (the earliest commits may go all the way back to 2012), and considering that Intel's Gen7 graphics system is very well documented, I'd have to disagree there.

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