The Raspberry Pi Foundation has revealed that the VideoCore driver code for its Raspberry Pi device has been open sourced, a move that should aid efforts to port other operating systems to the low-cost single-board computer.
Announced on the Raspberry Pi blog, the move was instigated by Broadcom, maker of the BCM2835 ARM-based processor used in the Raspberry Pi.
This means it is the first ARM-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) backed by fully-functional, vendor-provided open-source GPU drivers, as opposed to reverse engineered code, the Foundation claimed.
All of the VideoCore driver code is available now under a Modified BSD Licence from the Raspberry Pi repository hosted on GitHub.
Alex Bradbury, the Raspberry Pi Foundation's lead Linux developer, wrote on the blog of the significance of Broadcom opening up its VideoCore drivers for the Raspberry Pi and the enthusiasts developing software for it.
"The open sourcing of the userland libraries is of course going to be massively helpful to those of you who have been either actively porting or wanting to use alternate operating systems on the Raspberry Pi," he said.
In particular, this will make it easier for third party developers to implement the Wayland display protocol, an alternative to the X Windows system commonly used in Linux and Unix, Bradbury added.
Eben Upton, founder of the Rasperry Pi Foundation, is employed at Broadcom as technical director and ASIC architect.
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