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Posts Tagged ‘gpu’

PowerVR GT7200 Plus and GT7400 Plus GPUs Support OpenCL 2.0, Better Computer Vision Features

January 7th, 2016 2 comments

Imagination Technologies introduced PowerVR Series7XT GPU family with up to 512 cores at the end of 2014, and at CES 2016, they’ve announced Series7XT Plus family with GT7200 Plus and GT7400 Plus GPUs, with many of the same features of Series7XT family, plus the addition of OpenCL 2.0 API support, and improvements for computer vision with a new Image Processing Data Master, and support for 8-bit and 16-bit integer data paths, instead of just 32-bit in the previous generation, for example leading to up to 4 times more performance for applications, e.g. deep learning, leveraging OpenVX computer vision API.

Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

GT7200 Plus GPU features 64 ALU cores in two clusters, and GT7400 Plus 128 ALU cores in a quad-cluster configuration. Beside OpenCL2.0, and improvements for computer vision, they still support OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan, hardware virtualization, advanced security, and more. The company has also made some microarchitectural enhancements to improve performance and reduce power consumption:

  • Support for the latest bus interface features including requestor priority support
  • Doubled memory burst sizes, matching the latest system fabrics, memory controllers and memory components
  • Tuned the size of caches and improved their efficiency, leading to a ~10% reduction in bandwidth

The new features and improvements of PowerVR Series7XT Plus GPUs should help designed better systems for image classification, face/body/gesture tracking, smart video surveillance, HDR rendering, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), object and scene reconstruction, augmented reality, visual inspection, robotics, etc…

You can find more details on Imagination Tech Blog.

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Maxsun MS-GTX960 Nvidia GTX960 Graphics Card Unboxing and Installation

December 24th, 2015 11 comments

When I wrote an article about H.265 and VP9 video encoding, I noticed only the second generation Maxwell Nvidia Graphics would support H.265 decoding (up to 500 fps) and HDMI 2.0 output, a few weeks after purchasing a first generation Nvidia GTX750 GPU… So when GearBest contacted me about Graphics cards reviews I said I would be interesting in HDMI 2.0 and H.265 capable graphics card, which I meant I had to get a card with Nvidia GM20x chip with the cheapest being GTX960. So the company agreed to send me Maxsun MS-GTX960 graphics card matching my requirements for $240.04. I won’t use it for gaming at all, but instead I plan to use the card to evaluate Kodi 16.x 4K H.265 and VP9 support and compare video performance to the cheap and low power Amlogic S905 TV boxes on the market, as well as try out H.265 video encoding, as it should speed up the process by up to 50 times compared to software only encoding. But first, I’ll show a few pictures of the GPU, and installation process that a little different from lower-end cards.

Maxsun MS-GTX960 Unboxing

I received the box via DHL, and was surprised by the rather large size of the package, and that I did not have to pay any custom duties for this type of item…

Maxsun_MS-GTX960_PackageThe card comes with 2GB GDDR5 RAM.

GTX960_2GB_RAMThe graphics card does look quite large and includes with two cooling fans.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The card has four video outputs: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, and two DVI ports.

Maxsun_MS-GTX960_HDMI_DisplayPort_DVIThere’s also a DVD or CDROM included with the graphics, but I did not checked it out, as the latest drivers are usually available online.

Maxsun MS-GTX960 Graphics Card Installation

This is what my previous Kodac GT750 card graphics card looks like when installed in my PC.

Zotac_GTX750_InstallationI’ve taken it out, and comparing it to GTX960, I was worried it would not fit due to its much longer length.

GTX960_vs_GTX750While there ere are more ports, there’s no VGA output, so I’ll have to find a DVI cable for my secondary display. Not a big deal.

GTX960_vs_GTX750_Video_OutputI was relieved when I realized the card would indeed fit into my computer, albeit it’s now pretty tight with my hard drive.

GTX960_Installation_LengthI also noticed a 6-pin connector on the top of the card, and after a Google search, I found it was to provide some extra power required for this type of card, and my power supply had this type of connector.

Maxsun_GTX960_6-pin_header

All good, I tightened the card with a screw, put all back together, and having upgraded from another Nvidia graphics card, the card was automatically recognized in Ubuntu 14.04, and worked out of the box.

Nvidia_GTX960_Drivers_UbuntuI like when everything goes smoothly :).

Merry Christmas to all!!!

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Categories: Graphics, Hardware, Linux, Ubuntu Tags: gpu, h.265, hdmi, nvidia

Amlogic S912 Processor Could Feature an ARM Mali-T830 GPU

November 20th, 2015 4 comments

Amlogic S912 launch has been delayed by a few months, and if we are to believe the data from GFXBench (test 1; test 2), the reason could be that they switched the design from a Mali-T7xx GPU to a more powerful Mali-T830 GPU.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

S912 processor is still based on four Cortex A53 core @ up to 2.0 GHz like in S905, but the GPU will be much more powerful.

One person noticed these results and wrote an analysis and comparison (in Korean) against the Mali-860MP2 GPU found in Mediatek MT6755 SoC (Helio P10) SoC.

 Offscreen  Manhattan 3.1  Manhattan  T-Rex  ALU  ALU2  Fillrate  Texturing
 MT6755  4.8  7.2  17.2  6.0  1012
 S912  4.4  7.0  16.3  34.7  5.3  1283  1000

So while Mali-860MP2 is faster for all listed benchmark the advantage is not that great. His analysis  compared benchmarks (read post for details) concludes that the GPU in S912 could be clocked at around 650 MHz.

Thanks to Adriano for the tip.

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Amlogic S905 Source Code Published – Linux, U-Boot, Mali-450 GPU and Other Drivers

November 19th, 2015 33 comments

Amlogic has an open linux website where they regurlarly release GPL source code, and with Amlogic S905 devices coming to market, they’ve released a few tarballs at the beginning of the month including Linux 3.14 source code, U-boot source code, and Mali-450MP GPU kernel source code (obviously not userspace), as well as some other drivers for WiFi, NAND flash, PMU, TVIN, etc…
Amlogic_S905_Linux_MenuconfigLet’s get to the download links:

I quickly tried to build the Linux source. If you’ve never build a 64-bit ARM kernel or app before, you’ll fist need to install the toolchain. I installed the one provided with Ubuntu 14.04:

Now extract the tarball and enter the source directory:

At first I had a build failure due to a missing directory, so I created it, and use the default config for Amlogic S905/S912 (in arch/arm64/configs), before building the Linux kernel.

and it ended well:

So that’s a good starting for anybody wanting to work on the Android or Linux kernel…

Unrelated to Amlogic S905/Meson64, but I’ve also noticed some OpenWRT packages and rootfs  on Amlogic website that was released a little earlier this year. So either some people are using Amlogic Sxxx processors with OpenWRT, or Amlogic is working on a router chip that I missed. Probably the former.

Thanks to Olin.

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Raspberry Pi’s VideoCore 4 GPU Driver Added to Linux Mainline in Kernel 4.4

November 17th, 2015 3 comments

While your x86 and AMD64 computer will usually boot with Linux mainline without issues, most ARM boards and device won’t, and many of the ones that do boot only support headless mode, and limited functionalities. The Raspberry Pi had been supporting HDMI output with a simple framebuffer for a while, but a developer working on the Videocore 4 (VC4) GPU found inside Broadcom BCM2835 and BCM2836 processors, has recently submitted a patchset to add VC4 GPU to Linux mainline that should make it to Linux 4.4.

Raspberry_Pi_GPU_Linux_Kernel

The commit message does mention some features are still missing, but it’s a start:

This pull request introduces the vc4 driver, for kernel modesetting on the Raspberry Pi (bcm2835/bcm2836 architectures). It currently supports a display plane and cursor on the HDMI output. The driver doesn’t do 3D, power management, or overlay planes yet.

Via Golem and Sanders.

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Nvidia Tegra X1 Development Board is Finally Available… for $599

November 11th, 2015 17 comments

When Nvidia introduced Nvidia Tegra X1 octa processor with a 256-core Maxwell GPU at the very beginning of the year, I was expecting Jetson TX1 is follow suit in the next few months, but instead the company launched Nvidia Shield Android TV box based on the processor. The company has now launched Jetson TX1 module and development board.

Tegra_TX1_system-on-moduleLet’s check the module first and its main specifications and features:

  • SoC – Nvidia Tegra X1 octa core processor with 4x ARM Cortex A57 cores, 4x ARM Cortex A53 cores, and a 256-core Maxwell GPU
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 (25.6 gigabits/second)
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 2×2 Bluetooth ready, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Video –  4K video encode and decode
  • Camera – Support for 1400 megapixels/second
  • Dimensions – 50mm x 87mm

The module support Linux4Tegra operating system based on Ubuntu. Libraries and drivers to leverage the Maxwell GPU include cuDNN  CUDA-accelerated library for machine learning, VisionWorks CUDA-accelerated OpenVX 1.1 library and framework for computer vision, graphics drivers with support for OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan, and support for CUDA 7.0.

The company did not release that much information about the development board in the press release, but send a few samples to various blogs and developers, including Kangalow of Jetsonhacks.com.

Jeston TX1 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Jetson TX1 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The development board relies on TX1 module for the processor, storage, memory, and wireless connectivity, and a carrier board for I/O connectivity: is

  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Storage – SATA data+power, M.2 Key E connector, SD card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
  • USB – USB 3.0 Type A, USB 2.0 Micro AB (supports recovery and host mode)
  • Display expansion header
  • Camera expansion header with a 5MP camera
  • Expansion –  PCI-E x4 slot, 40 pin Raspberry Pi somewhat compatible header, 30x pin header for extra GPIOs.
  • Dimensions – Fits in mini-ITX case

Kangalow reports the fan is not active very often with the heatsink providing enough cooling most of the time, and the performance feels like the one of a typical laptop in Ubuntu.

The guys at Phoronix also got a board, and while they did not run their own benchmarks yet, they shared some provided by Nvidia themselves pitting Tegra X1 (Linux4Tegra) against an Intel Core i7-6700K (Windows 8.1…) showing for example graphics performance (GFXBench 3.1) is similar, but Jetson TX1 consumes 5 times less power.

Jetson TX1 Board vs Skylake (iCore i7) Computer

Jetson TX1 Board vs Core i7 (Skylake) Computer

Jetson TK1 board with a 192-core GPU was $192, so you may dreamed that Jetson TX1 with a 256-core GPU would be $256, but it did not exactly turn out that way. Nvidia Jetson TX1 development kit will start showing for pre-order for respectively $599 (retail) / $299 (education) on November 12 in the US, with a launch in other regions in the next few weeks. The kit will include the module and carrier board, a camera board, a heatsink and fan and required cables. Jetson TX1 modules will be available in Q1 2016 for about $299 per unit for 1k order.

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ARM Introduces Mali-470 GPU for Wearables, IoT and Embedded Applications

October 21st, 2015 7 comments

Mali-400 was announced in 2008, and since then has been used in various SoCs for smartphone, but now it’s mostly replaced by Mali-450 GPU in low cost mobile and STB SoCs, although Mali-400 is still being implemented in new SoCs such as Rockchip RK3128 processor. ARM has been working on a lower power version of the GPU, and just unveiled Mali-470 GPU targeting wearables, as well as embedded and IoT applications.

Mali-470Mali-470 GPU is said to use the same memory and AMBA interfaces as Mali-400, while keeping some of the improvements brought to Mali-450 GPU, and further lowering power consumption to just half of that Mali-400 in terms of mW per frames per second.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Just like its predecessors, Mali-470 supports OpenGL ES 2.0, and like Mali-400 it will scale from 1 to 4 fragment processor, always combined with one single vertex processor. Mali-470MP1 is likely to be used in wearables or other applications with tiny displays and low power requirements, while Mali-470MP2 and Mali-470MP4 might also find their ways into more demanding applications.

ARM expects SoCs based on Mali-470 GPU to sample by Q2 2016, meaning we’ll probably start seeing Mali-470 GPU in actual devices in 2017.

Via AnandTech

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Categories: Hardware Tags: arm, embedded, gpu, IoT, wearables

ARM TechCon 2015 Schedule – IoT, Servers, 64-bit ARM, Power Usage Optimization, and More

October 1st, 2015 No comments

ARM_TechCon_2015The ARM Technology Conference (ARM TechCon) will take place on November 10 – 12, 2015, in Santa Clara Convention Center, and just like every year, there will be a free exposition for companies to showcase their latest innovation and/or products, as well as a technical conference with sessions and workshops sorted into various tracks:

  • Automotive/Embedded Vision
  • Embedded
  • IoT
  • Mobile/Connectivity
  • Networking Infrastructure/Servers
  • Tools & Implementation
  • Wearables/Sensors
  • ARM Training Day
  • Sponsored Vendor Training
  • Special Event
  • General Event
  • Software Developers Workshop

You can find the complete schedule on ARM TechCon website. Although I won’t attend, I’ve created my own virtual schedule with some of the sessions I found interesting.

Tuesday – November 10

  • 8:30 – 9:20 – ARM Vision for Thermal Management and Energy Aware Scheduling on Linux by Ian Rickards (ARM), Charles Garcia-Tobin (ARM), Bobby Batacharia (ARM)

This talk will cover the history and where are we going, for ARM’s Power Software (IPA, EAS, and some concepts for the future).

ARM will detail the latest update on our thermal control software Intelligent Power Allocation (IPA) which has just been released in mainline Linux 4.2. The tuning and implementation flow allow IPA to be easily deployed in Linux-based devices including Android.

We will also introduce ‘Energy Aware Scheduling’ (EAS) which is a new development by ARM/Linaro to allow the Linux scheduler to make the most energy efficient decisions using a generic energy model based approach. EAS includes improved upstream Linux support for ARM “big.LITTLE” systems and other advanced multi-cpu topologies.

  • 9:30 – 10:30 – Innovation is Thriving in Semiconductors by Mike Muller (ARM)

The human capacity to find a path past difficult challenges is astonishing. Though traditional silicon scaling is more complex at advanced geometries, electronics design innovation is more robust than ever as engineers devise new ways to improve the latest chips. ARM CTO Mike Muller will describe advances in design innovation spanning low power, trust, and architectural innovation all the way from sensors to server and beyond. And he’ll unveil the latest technology achievements from ARM in his signature lively, humorous and engaging style.

  • 10:30 – 11:20 – IoT Prototyping 101: The All-in-One Platform by Steven Si (MediaTek)

Power efficiency, connectivity and size are top priorities for any developer looking to prototype innovative IoT devices. Best utilizing these key features with ARM’s technology will be the spotlight of this session a live demonstration of how a developer at any level can create the next big thing in IoT. Skills to be shown: connecting sensors; using a cloud interface to build a virtual device; sending data from the device to the cloud and communicating with other smart devices. (cnxsoft: possibly using LinkIt ONE platform)

  • 11:30 – 12:20 – Khronos APIs for Fast and Cool Graphics, Compute and Vision by Neil Trevett (Khronos)

Discover how 100 companies cooperate at the Khronos Group to create open, royalty free standards that enable developers to access the power of hardware to accelerate the demanding tasks in cutting-edge mobile applications including heterogeneous parallel computation, 3D graphics and vision processing. This session includes the latest updates to API standards including OpenGL, OpenCL, OpenVX, and the recent Vulkan new generation graphics and compute API. The session will explore how modern APIs will accelerate the availability of compelling experiences such as neural-net based driver assistance, virtual and augmented reality, and advanced environmental tracking and 3D reconstruction on ARM-based devices

  • 13:00 – 15:00 – Boosting Performance from ‘C’ to Sky with Custom Accelerators on ARM-based FPGAs by Shaun Purvis (Hardent)

Offloading tasks to specialized hardware, such as a GPU or FPU, is a common approach to boosting software performance. However, the fixed nature (i.e. hard-silicon) of such hardware places an upper limit on just how much performance can be boosted. In order to break down this barrier, some modern SoCs have combined ARM processing power with programmable logic allowing software to be offloaded to custom, scalable, accelerators. With accelerators that can be tailored to specific needs, suddenly the sky’s the limit! But that’s not all. Combining these SoCs with modern tools allows designers to migrate high-level functions directly to hardware, skipping all the hardware design in between. This presentation will introduce one such tool and discuss the design methodology that takes a software-defined system and turns it into a custom hardware accelerated one.

  • 15:30 – 16:20 – Bringing Mali, the Android GPU of Choice, to Wearables by Dan Wilson (ARM Ltd.)

In this talk we will look at the trends for the use of graphics processors in Wearable devices and how the technical requirements of this space differ from that of smartphones and other segments. We look specifically at the ARM Mali GPU Utgard architecture which provides the perfect fit for Wearable designs and describe how this architecture has been implemented to create ARM’s latest ultra-low-power Mali GPU.

  • 16:30 – 18:00 – Efficient Interrupts on ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers by Chris Shore (ARM)

Most real-time embedded systems make extensive use of interrupts to provide real-time response to external events. The design of the interrupt architecture is crucial to achieve maximum system efficiency. When designing software for devices based on ARM’s Cortex-M microcontroller cores, it is important to understand the interaction between interrupt priority, sub-priority, tail-chaining and pre-emption to achieve the most efficient design. This session will examine various use cases and give practical advice to software developers.

Wednesday – November 11

  • 8:30 – 9:20 – How (Not) to Generate Misleading Performance Results for ARM Servers by Markus Levy (EEMBC) & Bryan Chin (Cavium)

Cloud workloads are putting unique demands on SoCs and other system-level hardware being integrated into scale-out servers. Traditional benchmarks address the suitability of processors for different tasks. However, many factors contribute to the whole system performance memory, disks, OS, network interfaces, and network stack. In addition, the manner of generating workloads can affect the results. This session uses a case study from Cavium’s ARM-based Thunder X system and the EEMBC cloud and server benchmark, to present results that demonstrate how subtle test environment variations can obfuscate benchmark results and how a properly designed benchmark can overcome these obstacles.

  • 9:30 – 10:30 – Keynote by Simon Segars (ARM’s CEO)
  • 10:30 – 11:20 – Pentralux Flexible Digital Displays on Paper, Plastic, Cloth & Synthetics by Mathew Gilliat-Smith (DST Innovations), Anthony Miles (DST Innovations)

DST Innovations has created a flexible digital display proof of concept produced on plastic, paper, cloth or synthetic substrates. It’s integrated with the ARM mbed OS and will be suitable for developers and designers to integrate into third party products. Initially the digital screens will be for informational or promotional data and video. Being bright, safe, robust and requiring little power, the design parameters will be significant and far reaching for the wearable sector in thousands of clothing, fashion, promotional and other commercial concepts. The screens will offer inter-connectivity through the mbed ecosystem to receive transmitted IoT cloud generated data.

  • 11:30 – 12:20 – Are you ready for USB Type-C? by Ravi Shah (NXP Semiconductors) & Andy Lin (NXP Semiconductors)

USB Type-C offers new features and benefits like reversible plug orientation, improved data rates up to 10 Gbps as well as an unprecedented, scalable, 100 W power-delivery capability that can power higher wattage devices and support faster charging. This session will review the features, benefits and applications it is being designed into today. In addition, design considerations and lessons learned from the field will be reviewed.

  • 12:30 – 13:20 – From Concept to Reality: Advancing ARM-based Enterprise SoCs – Presented by Applied Micro Circuits Corporation by Dr. Paramesh Gopi (Allied Micro Circuits Corporation)

No abstract…

  • 14:30 – 17:20 – STM32L7 Hands-On Workshop by James Lombard & Steve Miller (STMicroelectronics)

Thursday – November 12

  • 8:30 – 9:20 – All Things Data: Healthcare by Pierre Roux (Atmel)

Examples of IoT are everywhere, including digital home, remote resourcing monitoring and automation, but what gets less attention is how the IoT will impact healthcare with the combination of technologies that leverages big data and analytics that go along with it.

This talk will look at opportunities, hurdles and the skills required to make the most of this intersection of Internet-connected physical objects and the deluge of data. It will examine new generation of data analytics for use cases associated with our changing world and, examine the role big data analytics will play in the future of the healthcare industry.

  • 10:30 – 11:20 – The ARM Cortex-A72 processor: Delivering high efficiency for Server Networking and HPC by Ian Forsyth,  Director of Marketing, ARM

New content-rich features, services and evolving business models are transforming network architectures, giving rise to the Intelligent Flexible Cloud (IFC). Architects are decentralizing intelligence to deliver required flexibility and to cope with increased traffic demands. This, in turn, is driving new classes of SoCs, enabled by technology standards including software-defined networking (SDN) and network functional virtualization (NFV). These require significant throughput-per-watt efficiencies within networking and servers. This talk will explore how the latest Cortex-A72 CPU offers compelling performance and throughput to meet the requirements of these future workloads.

  • 11:30 – 12:20 – Porting to 64-bit on ARM by Chris Shore (ARM)

With the introduction of the A64 instruction set in ARMv8-A, many developers need to port existing code to work in a 64-bit environment. At the coding level, this presentation will cover porting C code, assembly code and NEON code. Issues covered will include data typing and type conversion, pointers, bitwise operations, differences in the SIMD register bank layout, mapping of assembly instructions. At a system level, we will cover maintenance operations and extensions to the security architecture.

  • 13:30 – 14:20 – Keynote- The Hard Things About the Internet of Things by Colt McAnlis (Google)
  • 14:30 – 15:20 – Wearable System Power Analysis and Optimization by Greg Steiert (Maxim Integrated), Jesse Marroquin (Maxim Integrated)

This session will demonstrate how to extend battery life by showing the real world impact of system level architecture decisions. The session will introduce a technique for measuring battery current and then use that technique to compare the power efficiency of different system implementations. Tradeoffs analyzed will include: power architecture, operating voltage, sensor data interfaces, DMA, SIMD.

Takeaway: a method for measuring real time power consumption,  advantage of operating at the lowest voltage possible with efficient regulators, tradeoffs of different sensor interfaces and of different micro-controller architectures (peripherals/M0+/M3/M4)

  • 15:30 – 16:20 – Improving Software Security through Standards Compliance and Structural Coverage Analysis by Shan Bhattacharya (LDRA)

This presentation will focus on secure software best practices. Ensuring the security of embedded devices involves more than simply using vulnerability preventive programming. However, paying attention to and leveraging security standards such as CWE/CVE, CERT C and even CERT Java, will certainly improve the probability of delivering a secure and effective system.

  • 16:30 – 17:20 – Top Android Performance Problems of 2015 by Colt McAnlis (Google)

When you look at performance problems all day, you’re bound to lose your hair. So rather than balding early yourself, Colt McAnlis will walk you through the top performance problems that dominated 2015. This talk will cover the range of issues from Memory, to Rendering, to Networking, listing specific topics that have shown up in many of the top apps in Google Play. We’ll even take some time to look at the differences in some form factors, and how you should plan around that.

  • 17:30 – 18:30 – Happy Hour 🙂

If you are going to attend, you can register online. While as usual, going to the expo and attending vendor’s sponsored sessions is free, there are different passes to join the conference sessions, ARM training day, and software developers workshops. The earlier you register, the cheaper.

Conference Pass ARM Training Day Software Developers
Workshop
Expo Pass
Super Early Bird
(Ends July 24)
$599 $199 $99 Free
Early Bird
(Ends Sept. 4)
$799 $249 $149 Free
Advanced
(Ends Oct. 30)
$999 $299 $199 Free
Regular/Onsite $1249 $349 $249 Free

There are also discounts for groups, students, press & media, and government employees. You can check details on ARm TechCon 2015’s Passes & Prices page.

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