About ExaGear products

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ExaGear - a series of commercial programs created in 2013 by the Russian company Eltechs for translating x86_64 instructions into ARMv6(ExaGear Desktop), ARMv7 , ARMv8 to run Windows applications and games in a Linux container using Wine - a free implementation of the Windows API[1].

Developer Eltechs
Release date ExaGear RPG/Strategies - November 3, 2014(beta), Windows Emulator - February 2017
Termination of development February 28, 2019
Sale project October 1, 2020
Version ExaGear RPG - 2.6.8, Strategies - 3.5.0, Windows Emulator - 3.0.1


Most of the sources and footnotes here are in Russian, since the company is Russian, and the resources where the project is discussed are mostly in Russian.

History of the company and program

Company Eltechs was founded on February 25, 2012[2] in Moscow, Russia. Presumably, the developers were employees of the Skolkovo innovation center[3]. It is known that the team was led by a person with the pseudonym Armmaster, it also included pUnK2014 and TheAK47[4].

On March 22, 2014[5] Heroes 3 Runner was introduced to Android, a program that allowed you to run and play Heroes 3 on Android by translating x86 to ARM. Also in 2014, Heroes 3 Runner was renamed to ExaGear Strategies.

November 2, 2014[6] ExaGear Desktop: program to run x86 Linux, Windows applications (using Wine) on ARM GNU/Linux platforms.

ExaGear RPG entered beta on November 3, 2014. It was designed to run Fallout 1,2, M&M 6,7,8[7].

In 2017 (presumably) ExaGear Windows Emulator is released - a version of ExaGear with Wine 3.0, which was new at that time, to run Windows applications on Android in addition to games.

Interesting fact

The phrase "Windows Emulator" in the name of the latest version of ExaGear Windows Emulator actually did not correspond to reality, because the real Windows was not emulated in the program, it used Wine to run Windows applications - a free implementation of the Windows API.

From 2014 to 2018, many new stable and beta versions were released, the project developed and more and more games managed to be launched.

At that time, the GPU was emulated by software methods, there was no support for OpenGL, as well as Direct3D (only DirectX 1-7). Software OpenGL support was only added in 2018 by modders.

Termination of development, closure and sale of the project

The latest versions of ExaGear RPG, ExaGear Strategies, ExaGear Windows Emulator (2.6.8, 3.5.0, 3.0.1 respectively) were released in 2018. At the end of February 2019, the developer unexpectedly sent out to all license holders of ExaGear products that Eltechs would stop supporting ExaGear on February 28, 2019, which happened: all applications from Google Play were removed, and the message "sold out" was displayed on the company's main website. The project has been closed[8].

Sale of the project and further development of the project

Presumably in October 2020, Eltechs sold all the source codes of ExaGear to Huawei, and the project was relaunched under the brand ExaGear Huawei[9]. Support for x86_64 architecture has been added. The new version only works on Huawei products, and was not available for mass sale.

Eltechs website in March 2019.

Continued development by enthusiasts in 2019-2022

In 2019-2020, enthusiasts added support for software 3D acceleration (llvmpipe)[10] to Exagear, which marked the beginning development of basic 3D acceleration by adapting virgl-renderer on Android. Previously, the developers had plans to add OpenGL support to ExaGear, but they did not materialize.

In March 2021, a person under the nickname alexvorxx releases a post on 4pda.to VirGL Overlay in ExaGear[11] which used virgl-renderer as the renderer. Porting and development of the original application was carried out by the user mittorn, and subsequent versions (0.0.5, 0.0.7 and etc) based on new versions of virgl-renderer were built by user alexvorxx.

This will mark the start of support for 3D acceleration in ExaGear. At that time, most of the games with it were unstable, and those that worked often had graphical artifacts, root rights were also required, and only GPU Adreno were supported.

In the summer of 2021, a non-root version is released, the work of games is improved, the number of graphic bugs is reduced, support for Mali GPUs has been added.

At the end of July 2021 on YouTube channel Grima04 posted a video demonstrating the work of Turnip (Vulkan Adreno open driver)+Zink(Vulkan->OpenGL)+VirGL(virgl_vtest_server) to ExaGear by using Termux's proot container. A little later virgl_vtest_launcher is released, an early implementation of VirtIO-GPU in ExaGear. At that time, root was required, and there were graphical errors.

In December 2021, Chinese enthusiasts release ExaGear with VirtIO-GPU: VirGL but with Turnip+Zink driver based rendering for Adreno 618+, using the same method as Grima04.

Already in January 2022, alexvorxx releases a cache modification based on the standard one from Eltechs, which uses the GPU directly without VirGL, using only Turnip+Zink built with the xlib library.

In the same January 2022, a new convenient, but so far unstable control Input Bridge from DotNetBurst[12] (on hold).

Reasons for closing the project

The reason for closing the project was unprofitability. After the release, the application was successfully hacked, and could be used for free, and apparently, sales of the application in the Play Market began to fall, from which the developers' profits either dropped significantly or did not exist at all. Expensive controls for games played a role in the future of the project which closed on February 28, 2019.