Qualcomm releases open-source 3D Snapdragon driver

Qualcomm (the company that builds processors used in many Android phones) has released an open source 2D/3D Linux kernel driver for the OpenGL ES GPU core on the Snapdragon processor.  In non-geek language, this means that part of the code that runs the Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon is now open, and ready for Android developers to start hacking.  The user space portion hasn't been released (soon Qualcomm?) so it's not all wine and roses, but every little bit counts.  I'm certain that the Android development community will find this a valuable tool to squeeze more performance out of things, so this is great news for all of us rocking a Snapdragon powered phone -- like the Incredible, Evo, or Nexus One.

Ubergeeks and kernel hackers can find the code in this Git tree.  Let the syncing and compiling begin! [Slashdot]

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I expect this to lead to great new developments soon. Already anxious.
  • Does this mean the Droid Inc will become a viable gaming phone? Because right now it sucks. Can't run 3D games like NOVA on it....
  • It can run Nova. And pretty smoothly at that.
    Gameloft updated some games, and that was one of them. The Adreno GPU is capable but games need to be made around it because the fill rate sucks, but it can do 22 million triangles a second. And game developers are going to have to make games around the snapdragon processors because so many people own one with it.
    Anyway, Gameloft is too lazy. They need to make games for Android and not wait until all android phones have a Gpu with a high fill rate. The developers of the upcoming PSx emulator for android said it would run on a snapdragon.
    And hopefully the n64 emulator one of them is working on afterwards works on it as well.
  • I sincerely hope so
  • I'm not gonna hold my breath on improvements in the 3D space for Snapdragon platforms... I'm fixing to jump ship to PowerVR graphics (either Droid X or Fascinate). Can't wait any longer! :-p
  • Considering this chip is in the Nexus One, Google's baby, I would think there would be some kind of push in development. Having said that I am not holding my breath either but will remain hopeful as an EVO owner.
  • The thing is most games are developed for the iPhone first. The iPhone has a PowerVR GPU. It is logical that Android devices with PowerVR chips get games ported and optimized first. To me the Snapdragon platform is facing an uphill battle because of that.
  • great news! Hopefully cyanogenmod is able to include this at some point. The Adreno200 GPU on the Snapdragon seems to be not bad for built in, but my next Android phone will definitely have a dedicated GPU.
  • Any way this could be used to help just speed up video playback or anything? idc about games really. Kitten Cannon runs great and its all I play. I have a Xbox at home for my gaming.
  • Nice effort, but pretty useless. This is just the kernel component. The user-space counterpart is still closed. Without the code to the user-space code, you can't really do anything with it. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODM4OQ
  • Except increase the clock speed, change the interrupt, re-nice the driver itself, optimize all native code against the kernelspace driver, decrease the binary size, strip out all the debugging info, and change/edit/hack every other way the GPU interacts with the kernel. A little bit more than useless IMO.
  • Yeah, until some seemingly inert change breaks the userspace driver. You can't really be certain how the userspace driver will be effected by any changes if you can't dig through it's code.
  • Mann..... I just flat out want better *uncapped* graphics on my EVO. Eff this 3D hype, I'll pass on it...