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Joining Collabora for a summer of Panfrost

Alyssa Rosenzweig avatar

Alyssa Rosenzweig
June 05, 2019

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Hello! I'm Alyssa Rosenzweig, a student, the lead developer of the open-source Panfrost graphics driver... and now a Collaboran!

Years ago, I joined the open-source community with a passion and a mission: to enable equal access to high-quality computing via open-source software. With this mission, I co-founded Panfrost, aiming to create an open-source driver for the Mali GPU. Before Panfrost, users of Mali GPUs required a proprietary blob, restricting their ability to use their machines as they saw fit. Some users were unable to run Linux, their operating system of choice, with the display system of their choosing, simply because there were not blobs available for their particular configuration. Others wished to use an upstream kernel; yet others held a deep philosophical belief in free and open-source software. To each users' driver problem, Panfrost seeks to provide a solution.

Days ago, I joined Collabora with the same passion and the same mission. Collabora was founded on an "open first" model, sharing my personal open source conviction. Collabora's long-term vision is to let open-source software blossom throughout computing, fulfilling my own dream of an open-source utopia.

With respect to graphics, Collabora has shared my concerns. After all, we're all on "Team Open Source" together! Collabora's partners make awesome technology, often containing a Mali GPU, and they need equally awesome graphics drivers to power their products and empower their users. Our partners and our users asked, and Panfrost answered.

At Collabora, I am now a full-time Software Engineering Intern, continuing throughout the summer to work on Panfrost. I'm working alongside other veteran Panfrost contributors like Collaboran Tomeu Vizoso, united with open-source community members like Ryan Houdek. My focus will be improving Panfrost's OpenGL ES 2.0 userspace, to deliver a better experience to Panfrost users. By the end of the summer, we aim to bring the driver to near conformance, to close any performance gaps, and through this work, to get GNOME Shell working fluidly on supported Mali hardware with only upstream, open-source software!

Supporting GNOME in Panfrost is a task of epic proportions, a project dream since day #1, yet ever distant in the horizon. But at Collabora, we're always up for the challenge.
 


Visit Alyssa's blog.

Comments (4)

  1. m][sko:
    Jun 05, 2019 at 11:30 PM

    Any plan to add support for bifrost ?

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    1. Alyssa Rosenzweig:
      Jun 06, 2019 at 04:12 PM

      Hi there! Bifrost support is planned for Panfrost. The developer Ryan Houdek (linked in this post) has been spearheading the Bifrost compiler effort; his work will allow Panfrost to support Bifrost in the future. During my internship at Collabora, I'm expecting to focus on improving Midgard, but anything's possible!

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  2. Ikbel BOULABIAR:
    Jun 07, 2019 at 10:03 PM

    This is a great news.
    Many attempts were made in the past to release an open source driver like attempts by Luc Verhaegen but then abandoned due to the lack of support. I hope one day it would be possible to use Linux inside the cheap android TV boxes right out of the box !
    Good luck ! A usable driver will have huge impact on many many services.

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