The Allwinner A31 processor is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with PowerVR SGX 544 graphics. Like other Allwinner chips, it’s proven popular with budget tablet makers in China, as a low-cost quad-core processor that offers decent performance.
Allwinner also has a decent reputation with some folks in the Linux community, since the company’s earlier (and much slower) Allwinner A10 chip can easily run Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux-based operating systems.
Now Allwinner has released the kernel source for the Allwinner A31.
Unfortunately it will probably take more than the kernel source to get a full-blown desktop operating system like Ubuntu up and running on devices with A31 chips. That’s because the PowerVR SGX 544 graphics core still relies on proprietary binaries which Allwinner cannot distribute.
In other words, don’t count on hardware-accelerated graphics or video while running Linux anytime soon.
But now that the kernel source is available, it should help developers write custom kernels for tablets, set-top-boxes, and other devices with Allwinner’s quad-core chip. And that could improve performance of custom ROMs like the unofficial CyanogenMod builds for tablets with this chip.