Packaging non-free video drivers for ARM devices

Guus Sliepen

We are used to discrete graphics cards on our desktop machines. Even integrated Intel and AMD graphics behaves mostly the same as discrete cards. However, in the ARM world, there is no concept of a graphics card. Instead, SoC makers combine several building blocks, potentially from different IP vendors, to form a chip that contains CPU, GPU, video output, media en/decoding and so on. Another complication is that most video hardware in the ARM ecosystem only has non-free drivers. All this poses some big challenges for how we package video drivers for ARM single-board computers.