A number of ARM-based processors including Freescale’s i.MX6, Marvell’s Armada 1500, and the Rockchip RK2918 use Vivante GCxxx graphics. The Freescale chips are particularly interesting to open source developers, since Freescale provides documentation necessary to run Linux and other open source software on the chip.
But the Vivante GC2000 graphics processor that’s paired with Freescale’s CPU isn’t as open.
So a group of developers have started a project to create their own open source driver for the Vivante GCxxx series graphics processor.
Project Etnaviv is still in the early stages, but there’s an experimental driver available. It’s described as “only of use to developers” looking to help work on the project by reverse engineering or developing open source drivers for the graphics processor.
In other words, it’s not yet ready to power your home media center box yet. But if the effort is successful, it could make tablets and set-top boxes like the Zealz GK802 and Ampe A10 a lot more attractive for fans of open source software.
The driver could also support the GC1000 graphics core found in many Google TV boxes with Marvell Armada 1500 chips.