Google has another experienced open-source graphics driver developer on its staff and could mean further Linux graphics ecosystem improvements.
It turns out in April that Google hired Rob Clark to work on open-source GPU drivers. Rob is the founder and lead developer of the Freedreno driver project for open-source Qualcomm Adreno graphics over the years. Freedreno has evolved nicely with time along with the MSM DRM/KMS kernel driver component, which recently has seen some use on Google Pixel devices. Since earlier this year, the “TURNIP” driver has also been in development as Freedreno’s Vulkan driver.
Presumably he’ll be ramping up his Freedreno work at Google, but his public LinkedIn only makes mention of “Something something train driver…Open source graphics drivers.” His title does note he’s on the ChromeOS team so it’s possible we’ll see him contributing to the other Intel and AMD drivers as well that are used by Chromebooks and the like along with infrastructure around Wayland and other components. The “train drivers” also perhaps a nod to open-source GPU driver training around neural networks?
Rob Clark presenting on the TI OMAP Linux work at the time.
Rob joins the likes of Wayland founder Kristian Hoegsberg, Nouveau creator Stephane Marchesin, and other long-time open-source graphics driver developers now employed by Google.
Rob started the Freedreno project while employed by Texas Instruments and working on their OMAP Linux stack prior to joining Red Hat in 2013. At Red Hat he continued working on Freedreno along with their Nouveau SPIR-V/compute activities more recently and other projects.
Rob’s departure from Red Hat also appears to at least be in part why the company is now looking to hire an experienced open-source graphics driver developer.
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