Collabora Announces PanVk, an Open-Source Vulkan Driver for ARM Mali GPUs


Collabora announced today PanVk, an open-source Vulkan driver for ARM Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs as part of their Panfrost driver project.

As you probably already know, Collabora develops an open-source OpenGL driver for ARM Mali GPUs (Midgard and Bifrost), called Panfrost, which received quite some attention during the past year, including OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenGL 3.1 support.

Now Collabora also wants to provide an open-source Vulkan driver for ARM Mali Bifrost and Midgard GPUs, so they unveiled today a preview of this driver, called PanVk, which will be delivered through the well-known Mesa graphics stack on Linux-based operating systems.

Despite being a preview, the PanVk driver has enough functions to have vkcube, the spinning Vulkan cube, running (see the top image for details). However, it’s in its early stage of the development and it currently lacks almost all core features and optimizations to be used for real world applications.

“As a side effect, we don’t intend to merge the driver in mesa master branch until we have reached a point where enough features are supported and the code base is clean enough,” said Collabora’s Boris Brezillon.

When PanVk will be mature enough for production use, it will enable you to run Vulkan apps/games on ARM Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs, which are being used in a wide range of devices these days, from entry-level smartphones to high-performance Android tablets and Smart TVs.

Being an open source project means that anyone can contribute to the development of the PanVk driver, and Collabora welcomes all contributions as there’s plenty of functionalities left to be implemented. For more details, visit the project’s Gitlab page or reach out on IRC on the #panfrost channel hosted on

Last updated 3 years ago

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