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Posts Tagged ‘gpu’

Qualcomm Releases Userspace Adreno 320 GPU Drivers for Ubuntu

October 30th, 2014 2 comments

Qualcomm Developer Network has just sent the October Newsletter by email, and they had some news specific to Ubuntu / Linux support on IFC6410 development board powered by a Snapdragon 600 processor. Firs they link to a guest blog post on Qualcomm website entitled “Video Conferencing on Linux with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Processor“, where Qualcomm partner eInfochips stated:

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.’s leadership in mobile market with Linux Android support is well established. As the demand for Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., increase in adjacent markets, the need for non-Android Linux support becomes evident.

Which is always good to read. The rest of the post blog provides a few more details about their a low-latency (50ms glass-to-glass) video conferencing solution based on OpenEmbedded build with Linaro Linux Kernel, and making use of Qt5, Gstreamer, and Sofia SIP library. Further improvements will be achieved with hardware video decoding.

Qualcomm also released a developer preview user-mode Ubuntu Linux driver binaries for Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU on Inforce IFC6410 board. Linaro already releases a monthly Linaro Member Build for IFC6410 board. This release includes support for OpenGL ES 3.0 and has been tested with the Linaro 14.09 Ubuntu release. The Linaro image already included OpenGL 2.1 support for Adreno 320 GPU, but based on the open source freedreno GPU driver, instead of an official release by Qualcomm.

You can download adreno-ubuntu.tar.gz with your Qualcomm developer credentials.

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ARM Unveils Mali-T800 Series GPUs, Mali-V550 VPU, and Mali-DP550 Display Processor

October 28th, 2014 3 comments

ARM has just announced several new Mali media IP: three Mali-T800 series GPUs (Mali-T820, Mali-T830, and Mali-T830) based on Midgard architecture, as well as Mali-V500 video accelerator, and the Mali-DP550 display processor.

ARM_Mali-T860_Mali-V550_Mali-DP550

Mali T800 Series GPU

The new Mali T-8xx GPUs are based on the same Midgard architecture used in Mali T-6xx and T-7xx GPUs, but deliver better power efficiency thanks to technologies such as ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC), and Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) for imput bandwidth reduction, as well as Transaction Elimination and Smart Composition.

ARM provided some performance and energy-comparison between T800 and T600 series (but strangely nothing against T700):

  • The Mali-T820 GPU is optimized for entry-level products, achieving up to 40 percent more performance density compared to the Mali-T622 GPU.
  • The Mali-T830 GPU delivers up to 55 percent more performance than the Mali-T622 GPU.
  • The Mali-T860 GPU provides higher performance and 45 percent more energy-efficiency compared to the Mali-T628 GPU.

Mali-T860_GPU_Block_Diagram

Mali-T860 supports up to 16 shader cores whereas Mali-T820 and Mali T-830 are limited to 4 shader cores. Supported APIs include OpenGL ES 3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1, DirectX 11, OpenCL 1.2/1.1, and RenderScript. Mali-T860 also provides 10-bit YUV input and output at full speed, which could be especially useful for 4K video using HEVC codec.

More details can be found on Mali-T860, Mali-T830 and Mali-T820 product pages.

Mali-V550 Video Processing Unit

Mali-V550 video processor fully supports the HEVC standard, and the single core version can decode/encode 1080p60 HEVC video, whereas the eight core version can handle 4K @ 120 Hz HEVC decoding/encoding.

Mali-V550_VPU
Mali-V550 also benefits from new features such as Motion Search Elimination technology that reduces bandwidth by up to 35 percent, and will improve Wi-Fi Display/Miracast user experience. Up to 50% bandwidth reduction can also be achieve with AFBC. It also supports 10-bit YUV, so 10-bit HEVC/H.265 video be supported combined with Mali-T800 GPU, with the VPU “feeding” 10-bit decoded data to the GPU.  Other video codecs include the usual suspects, namely H.264, MPEG4, MPEG2, VP8, VC1, Real Media, H.263, MPEG-4 and JPEG. VP9 support is not mentioned. Driver and video streaming infrastructure is based on OpenMAX.

Visit Mali-V550 product page for more information.

Mali-DP550 Display Processor

Mali-DP550 display process will handle composition, scaling, rotation and image post-processing from the GPU in a single pass, and it also support Motion Search Elimination, and AFBC to reduce bandwidth use in order to maximize battery life. Up to seven layers of composition, up to 4K resolution, are supported, a co-processor interface enabled easy integration with third party IP blocks.

Mali-DP550Single and dual display output are supported, as well as various YUV/RGB pixel formats, including 10-bit YUV. More details can be found on ARM’s Mali-DP550 page.

All three new ARM Mali media IPs are available for immediate licensing, and consumer devices are expected in late 2015 and early 2016.

Via Anandtech.

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Categories: Graphics Tags: arm, gpu, h.265, hevc, mali, mali-t860, vp8

PowerVR SDK v3.4 Supports WebGL, 64-Bit Android 5.0 Lollipop, and MIPS Linux

October 21st, 2014 2 comments

Imagination Technolgies has just released PowerVR SDK v3.4  including the latest compilers for PowerVR Series6 and Series6XT GPUs to PVRShaderEditor, several performance optimization, a new WebGL SDK, 64-bit support for Android 5.0 Lollipop, and Linux support for MIPS based processors.

PowerVR_SDKThe company has revamped the user interfaces of their tools, and made the following key changes:

  • PVRTrace, a tool to capture and analyze OpenGL ES and EGL API calls, now supports OpenGL ES 3.1, compressed trace files, and they’ve reduce the software memory usage
  • PVRTune, a performance analysis tool, now features new counters, and  “significant” performance optimizations.
  • PVRShaderEditor, a light-weight shader editing too, adds the latest compilers for PowerVR Series6 (FP32 and FP16) and Series6XT GPUs, as well as GLSL disassembler output.
  • PVRTexTool, a utility for compressing textures, adds plugin support for Autodesk 3DSMax and Maya (2015 versions), and improves ETC decompression by up to 20% faster per surface.

Imagination also claims to have improved documentation with a new SDK Browser, part of the SDK,  with installation instructions, examples, source code, documents, etc… More details are available on the release notes page.

PowerVR SDK is available for Windows, Mac OS X & Linux (32-/64-bit).

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Linaro 14.09 Release with Kernel 3.17 and Android 4.4.4

September 27th, 2014 No comments

Linaro 14.09 has just been released with Linux kernel 3.17-rc4 (baseline), Linux 3.10.54 & 3.14.19 (LSK), and Android 4.4.2 & 4.4.4.

Linaro has kept working on their member boards such as IFC6410 (Qualcomm), D01 (Huawei/Hisilicon), Ardnale (Samsung), and Juno (ARM). They’ve also announced they’ll change the tools to build GCC by using cbuild2 instead of cbuild1 for next release, and they’ve enabled a build with gcov (for code coverage analysis) which may mean they’ll work on reducing the kernel size by getting rid off unused code. I’ve also noticed the Arndale and Arndale Octa Ubuntu images are now based on Linux LSK with Mali GPU support since last month.

Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 3.17-rc4-2014.09
    • GATOR version 5.19
    • updated topic from Qualcomm LT (ifc6410 board support) and HiSilicon LT
    • updated Versatile Express ARM64 support (FVP Base and Foundation models, Juno) from ARM LT.
    • updated Versatile Express patches from ARM LT
    • updated LLVM topic (follows the community llvmlinux-latest branch)
    • Big endian support (the 2014.05 topic version rebased to 3.17 kernel)
    • config fragments changes – added gcov config fragment, disabled DRM_EXYNOS_IOMMU to work around boot failure on Arndale
  • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2014.09
    • based on GCC 4.9 and updated to latest Linaro TCWG releases: Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09, Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.09, and Linaro GDB 7.8-2014.09.
    • This will be the last release done with cbuild1 and crosstool-ng. Next releases will be done with cbuild2. Official support for very old host environments will be dropped.
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 14.09 built with Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09.
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2014.09
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09, Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.09, integrated Linaro GDB 7.8-2014.09.
    • imported Linaro eglibc 2.19 into meta-linaro after OE-core switched to glibc 2.20
    • fixed shadow securetty for Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics SoCs
    • upstreaming – fixed libpng on aarch64 (neon symbol), updated PM QA to 0.4.14, updated libunwind to include aarch64 support
  • Linaro Ubuntu 14.09
    • added linux-tools (perf standalone, splitted from kernel build)
    • updated packages: Juno firmware 0.8.1, LSK 3.10.55/3.14.19 and linux-linaro 3.17-rc4 kernels.
  • A gcov enabled build has been added
  • Linaro builds of the Android NDK have been updated to current upstream sources and current Linaro toolchain component releases.
  • Standalone Android toolchain binary builds now use Linaro binutils for improved armv8 support.

You can visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1409/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.

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Some Projects on Nvidia Jetson TK1 Development Board: Nintendo Emulator, USB3 Webcam, and Robotics

August 4th, 2014 4 comments

Nvidia Jetson TK1 is a development board powered by the company’s Tegra K1 quado core Cortex A15 processor, and especially a Kepler GPU that allows for OpenGL 4.4. It has shipped to developers around April/May, and some of them have showcased their projects, or tested some hardware.

Dolphin Emulator on Nvidia Jetson TK1

Dolphin is an emulator for Nintendo GameCube and Wii console that supports full HD (1080p) rendering, and run on Android, Linux and Mac OS,  and there’s also an Alpha version for Android. Ryan Houdek (Sonicadvance1), one of Dolphin’s developers, has leveraged Kepler’s OpenGL support via Nvidia’s GPU drivers, to port the emulator to the platform running on Ubuntu, but it should work as well on Tegra K1 hardware running Android such as XiaoMi MiiPad tablet.  You can watch Mario Kart: Double Dash demo running at full speed on the Nvidia board below. According to the developer, such framerate would be not achievable on Qualcomm 800 because “Adreno Graphics Drivers are grossly inefficient compared to the TK1″.

The latest version of Dolphin for Android (Beta) dates December 7, 2013, so I’d assume the optimizations shown above are not available right now. You can find more demos on Ryan Houdek’s YouTube Channel.

USB3.0 Webcam @ 1080p30

Another developer, Korneliusz Jarzębski, has tested e-con Systems USB3 See3CAM_80 HD camera connected to the board’s USB 3.0 port, and using the camera’s “See3CAM” application. I understand that all that needed to be done was to enable hidraw for USB devices in the Linux kernel, and it just worked out of the box. The application can perform real-time video processing, applying videos filters (invert, particles, etc..), as well as changing image characteristics such as brightness, contrast and so on.

You can find a little more on his blog (Polish).

“Super-Computer-On-Legs” Robot

The last demo I’ll show today is a robot powered by Jetson TK1 board that can walk to the nearest person it can see. The robot detects person via a camera and GPU accelerated face detection (about 5 times faster than CPU-only face detection). Beside better performance, the robot is pretty power-efficient as it only draws about 7 watts, and last about 45 minutes powered by a small LiPo battery. The robot was showcased at the Robotics Science and Systems Conference last month, and while attendees were impressed by the performance and power consumption, they still noticed the board was a bit too big for most robots, especially quad copters. But the platform clearly has potential, and Shervin Emami, the person behind the project who happens to work for… Nvidia, mentioned work is being done on smaller Tegra K1 computer on modules that be installed in a custom motherboard of a robot without unnecessary ports.

If you are interested in seeing more projects running on Jetson TK1 development board, you can consider following “Embedded Tegra & Jetson TK1 Blog” on Google+.

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ARM TechCon 2014 Schedule – 64-Bit, IoT, Optimization & Debugging, Security and More

July 23rd, 2014 No comments

ARM Technology Conference (TechCon) 2014 will take place on October 1 – 3, 2014, in Santa Clara, and as every year, there will be a conference with various sessions for suitable engineers and managers, as well as an exposition where companies showcase their latest ARM based products and solutions. The detailed schedule for the conference has just been made available. Last year,  there were 90 sessions organized into 15 tracks, but this year, despite received 300 applications,  the organizers decided to scale it down a bit, and there will be 75 session in the following 11 tracks:ARM_TechCon_2014

  • Chip Implementation
  • Debugging
  • Graphics
  • Heterogeneous Compute
  • New Frontiers
  • Power Efficiency
  • Safety and Security
  • Software Development and Optimization
  • Software Optimization for Infrastructure and Cloud
  • System Design
  • Verification

There are also some paid workshops that take all day with topics such as “Android (NDK) and ARM overview”, “ARM and the Internet of Things”, or “ARM Accredited Engineer Programs”.

As usual, I’ve gone through the schedule builder, and come up with some interesting sessions with my virtual schedule during the 3-day event:

Wednesday – 1st of October

In this session, Dr. Saied Tehrani will discuss how Spansion’s approach to utilize the ARM Cortex-R line of processors to deliver energy efficient solutions for the automotive MCU market has led the company to become a vital part of the movement toward connectivity in cars. Beginning with an overview of the auto industry’s innovation and growth in connected car features, he will explain how these systems require high performance processing to give drivers the fluid experience they expect. Highlights in security and reliability with ARM Cortex-R, including Spansion’s Traveo Family of MCU’s will also be presented.

HEVC and VP9 are the latest video compression standards that significantly improves compression ratio compared to its widely used predecessors H.264 and VP8 standard. In this session the following will be discussed:

  • The market need for GPU accelerated HEVC and VP9 decoders
  • Challenges involved in offloading video decoding algorithms to a GPU, and how Mali GPU is well suited to tackle them
  • Improvement in power consumption and performance of Mali GPU accelerated decoder
  • big.LITTLE architecture and CCI/CCN’s complementing roles in improving the GPU accelerated video decoder’s power consumption

ARM’s Cortex-M family of embedded processors are delivering energy-efficient, highly responsive solutions in a wide variety of application areas right from the lowest-power, general-purpose microcontrollers to specialised devices in advanced SoC designs. This talk will examine how ARM plans to grow the ARM Cortex-M processor family to provide high performance together with flexible memory systems, whilst still maintaining the low-power, low-latency characteristics of ARM’s architecture v7M.

IoT devices as embedded systems cover a large range of devices from low-power, low-performance sensors to high-end gateways. This presentation will highlight the elements an embedded engineer needs to analyse before selecting the MCU for his design. Software is fundamental in IoT: from networking to power management, from vertical market protocols to IoT Cloud protocols and services, from programming languages to remote firmware update, these are all design criteria influencing an IoT device design. Several challenges specific to IoT design will be addressed:

  • Code size and RAM requirements for the major networking stacks
  • Optimizing TCP/IP resources versus performance
  • Using Java from Oracle or from other vendors versus C
  • WiFi (radio only or integrated module)
  • Bluetooth (Classis versus LE) IoT protocols

Thursday – 2nd of October

Amongst ARM’s IP portfolio we have CPUs, GPUs, video engines and display processors, together with fabric interconnect and POP IP, all co-designed, co-verified and co-optimized to produce energy-efficient implementations. In this talk, we will present some of the innovations ARM has introduced to reduce memory bandwidth and system power, both in the IP blocks themselves and the interactions between them, and how this strategy now extends to the new ARM Mali display processors.

Designing a system that has to run on coin cells? There’s little accurate information available about how these batteries behave in systems that spend most of their time sleeping. This class will give design guidance on the batteries, plus examine the many other places power leakages occur, and offer some mitigation strategies.

64-bit is the “new black” across the electronics industry, from server to mobile devices. So if you are building or considering building an ARMv8-A SoC, you shall attend this talk to either check that you know everything or find out what you shall know! Using the ARMv8 Juno ARM Development Platform (ADP) as reference, this session will cover:

  • The ARMv8-A hardware compute subsystem architecture for Cortex-A57, Cortex-A53 & Mali based SoC
  • The associated ARMv8-A software stack
  • The resources available to 64-bit software developers
  • Demonstration of the Android Open Source Project for ARMv8 running on Juno.

Rapid prototyping platforms have become a standard path to develop initial design concepts. They provide an easy-to-use interface with a minimal learning curve and allow ideas to flourish and quickly become reality. Transitioning from a simple, easy-to-use rapid prototyping system can be daunting, but shouldn’t be. This session presents options for starting with mbed as a prototyping environment and moving to full production with the use of development hardware, the open-source mbed SDK and HDK, and the rich ARM ecosystem of hardware and software tools.Attendees will learn how to move from the mbed online prototyping environment to full production software, including:

  • Exporting from mbed to a professional IDE
  • Full run-time control with debugging capabilities
  • Leveraging an expanded SDK with a wider range of integration points
  • Portability of applications from an mbed-enabled HDK to your custom hardware

Statistics is often perceived as scary and dull… but not when you apply it to optimizing your code! You can learn so much about your system and your application by using relatively simple techniques that there’s no excuse not to know them.This presentation will use no slides but will step through a fun and engaging demo of progressively optimizing OpenCL applications on a ARM-powered Chromebook using IPython. Highlights will include analyzing performance counters using radar diagrams, reducing performance variability by optimizing for caches and predicting which program transformations will make a real difference before actually implementing them.

Friday – 3rd of October

The proliferation of mobile devices has led to the need of squeezing every last micro-amp-hour out of batteries. Minimizing the energy profile of a micro-controller is not always straight forward. A combination of sleep modes, peripheral control and other techniques can be used to maximize battery life. In this session, strategies for optimizing micro-controller energy profiles will be examined which will extend battery life while maintaining the integrity of the system. The techniques will be demonstrated on an ARM Cortex-M processor, and include a combination of power modes, software architecture design techniques and various tips and tricks that reduce the energy profile.

One of the obstacles to IoT market growth is guaranteeing interoperability between devices and services . Today, most solutions address applications requirements for specific verticals in isolation from others. Overcoming this shortcoming requires adoption of open standards for data communication, security and device management. Economics, scalability and usability demand a platform that can be used across multiple applications and verticals. This talk covers some of the key standards like constrained application protocol (CoAP), OMA Lightweight M2M and 6LoWPAN. The key features of these standards like Caching Proxy, Eventing, Grouping, Security and Web Resource Model for creating efficient, secure, and open standards based IoT systems will also be discussed.

Virtual Prototypes are gaining widespread acceptance as a strategy for developing and debugging software removing the dependence on the availability of hardware. In this session we will explore how a virtual prototype can be used productively for software debug. We will explain the interfaces that exist for debugging and tracing activity in the virtual prototype, how these are used to attach debug and analysis tools and how these differ from (and improve upon) equivalent hardware capabilities. We will look in depth at strategies for debug and trace and how to leverage the advantages that the virtual environment offers. The presentation will further explore how the virtual prototype connects to hardware simulators to provide cross-domain (hardware and software) debug. The techniques will be illustrated through case studies garnered from experiences working with partners on projects over the last few years.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to set up a Virtual Prototype for debug and trace
  • Connecting debuggers and other analysis tools.
  • Strategies for productive debug of software in a virtual prototype.
  • How to setup trace on a virtual platform, and analysing the results.
  • Hardware in the loop: cross domain debug.
  • Use of Python to control the simulation and trace interfaces for a virtual platform.
  • 14:30 – 15:20 – GPGPU on ARM Systems by Michael Anderson, Chief Scientist, The PTR Group, Inc.

ARM platforms are increasingly coupled with high-performance Graphics Processor Units (GPUs). However the GPU can do more than just render graphics, Today’s GPUs are highly-integrated multi-core processors in their own right and are capable of much more than updating the display. In this session, we will discuss the rationale for harnessing GPUs as compute engines and their implementations. We’ll examine Nvidia’s CUDA, OpenCL and RenderScript as a means to incorporate high-performance computing into low power draw platforms. This session will include some demonstrations of various applications that can leverage the general-purpose GPU compute approach.

Abstract currently not available.

That’s 14 sessions out of the 75 available, and you can make your own schedule depending on your interests with the schedule builder.

In order to attend ARM TechCon 2014, you can register online, although you could always show up and pay the regular on-site, but it will cost you, or your company, extra.

Super Early Bird Rare
Ended June 27
Early Bird Rate
Ends August 8
Advanced Rate
Ends September 19
Regular Rate
VIP $999 $1,299 $1,499 $1,699
All-Access $799 $999 $1,199 $1,399
General Admission $699 $899 $1,099 $1,299
AAE Training $249 $299 $349 $399
Software Developers Workshop $99 $149 $199 $249
Expo FREE FREE $29 $59

There are more types of pass this year, but the 2-day and 1-day pass have gone out of the window. The expo pass used to be free at any time, but this year, you need to register before August 8. VIP and All-access provides access to all events, General Admission excludes AAE workshops and software developer workshops, AAE Training and Software Developers Workshop passes give access to the expo plus specific workshops. Further discounts are available for groups, up to 30% discount.

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Imagination Technologies Unveils Low Power Low Footprint PowerVR GX5300 GPU for Wearables

July 22nd, 2014 No comments

Up to now most wearables are based on MCU solutions or derived from mobile platforms, which may either not provide the advanced features required by users, or consume too much power and take more space than needed. With Ineda Dhanush and Mediatek Aster, we’ve already seen silicon vendors design wearables SoCs, and now Imagination Technologies has just announced PowerVR GX5300 GPU targeting wearables with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, 480p to 720p resolution, and using 0.55mm2 silicon area based on 28nm process.

PowerVR GX5300 Block Diagram

PowerVR GX5300 Block Diagram

PowerVR GX5300 GPU will be support Android, Android Wear, and Linux based operation systems, and according to the company has the following key features:

  • Unified shaders – The TBDR graphics architecture offers unified shaders where vertex, pixel and GPU compute resources are scaled simultaneously.
  • Low power and high precision graphics – All PowerVR GPUs offer a mix of low (FP16) and high precision (FP32) rendering and implement the full OpenGL ES 2.0 specification.
  • Reduced memory footprint - PowerVR GX5300 supports PVRTC, a texture compression format which reduces memory bandwidth and decreases power consumption. It can help silicon vendors reduce memory costs.

Typical applications will be embedded Linux or Android-based connected home systems that require graphics rendering such as smart washing machines, and wearables running Android Wear such as smartwatches.

PowerVR GX5300 is available for licensing now, but it has not been announced in any wearable SoCs just yet, so it’s probably something we’ll see in products in 2015.

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