Mesa 20.3 released with Raspberry Pi 4 V3DV driver, Panfrost Bifrost support

We’ve previously reported that the Vulkan 1.0 conformant V3DV driver for Raspberry Pi 4 and other Broadcom BCM2711 based platforms was part of Mesa 20.3 open-source graphics framework. But at the time, it was still under development. The good news is that Mesa 20.3 has now been released, and there’s much more than Raspberry Pi 4 support, as Collabora informed us the release also included Arm Mali Bifrost GPU support via the open-source Panfrost driver. The latter was made possible thanks to the work by Alyssa Rosenzweig and Boris Brezillon, with Alyssa going into details in a recent blog post on Collabora. More work is still needed with better performance and OpenGL 3.1 being the focus in the months ahead. But there were also many other changes in Mesa 20.3 as reported by Phoronix: OpenGL 4.6 and Vulkan 1.2 APIs support Initial support for Intel Gen12 Alder Lake graphics and AMD Dimgrey Cavefish and VanGogh graphics Lavapipe Vulkan CPU-based implementation […]

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Raspberry Pi 4 V3DV graphics driver achieves Vulkan 1.0 conformance

Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported on the status of Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan driver & future plans based on a presentation made by Igalia at the Open Source Summit 2020 at the end of October. At the time, the V3DV Vulkan Mesa driver for Raspberry Pi 4 was merged into Mesa, passed over 100,000 tests in the Kronos Conformance Test Suite (CTS), and was said to implement the full Vulkan 1.0 API. So it should come as no surprise that Khronos has now declared the Raspberry Pi drivers to be conformant with Vulkan 1.0 specifications. This was tested in Raspberry Pi OS with Linux 5.4.51 using X11 display server at 1920×1080 resolution on Raspberry Pi 4. Vulkan 1.0 conformance means the V3DV Mesa driver has passed all tests from Khronos CTS and should be compatible with most applications using this version of the API. The drivers will work on all Broadcom BCM2711 platforms including Raspberry Pi Computer […]

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Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan Project Status & Future Plans – Q4 2020

Igalia has been developing a new open-source Mesa driver for the Raspberry Pi 4 since December 2019 and announced the implementation of the classical triangle Vulkan demo last February. Four months after the announcement of the Vulkan effort for Raspberry Pi 4 (v3dv), they merged with Mesa upstream. This means Raspberry Pi 4’s v3dv Vulkan driver has become part of the official Mesa drivers. Thus, bringing several advantages, like easy to find as it is now available on the official Mesa repository. Bugs can now be filed on the official Mesa repository bug tracker. In June, they passed over 70,000 tests from the Khronos Conformance Test Suite for Vulkan 1.0 and had an implementation of a significant subset of the Vulkan 1.0 API. This does not mean that the driver is ready for production use as they have implemented the full Vulkan 1.0 API.  They are now passing over 100,000 tests in the Kronos Conformance Test Suite (CTS) and have implemented the full Vulkan […]

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Imagination IMG B-Series GPU family scales from IoT to the datacenter

Last year, Imagination Technologies unveiled IMG A-Series GPU family scaling from low-power IoT to mobile and high-performance server applications with up to 2.5 times the performance of the earlier PowerVR 9-series GPUs, as well as eight times faster AI processing and 60% less power under similar conditions. While I’m not aware of any SoCs announced with the new IMG A-Series GPU yet, the company has already announced the next-gen IMG B-Series GPU family with up to 4 times the multi-core performance thanks to decentralized multi-core technology, 30% lower power consumption, and 2.5 times the fill rate. The company offers four types of IM B-series GPU, each optimized for specific applications IMG BXE for high-resolution displays – From 1 up to 16 pixels per clock (PPC) BXE scales from 720p to 8K for UI rendering and entry-level gaming. IMG BXM designed for mid-range mobile gaming and complex UI solutions for DTV and other markets. IMG BXT four-core high-performance GPU generating 6.0 […]

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Arm Officially Supports Panfrost Open-Source Mali GPU Driver Development

Most GPU drivers found in Arm processors are known to be closed-source making it difficult and time-consuming to fix some of the bugs since everybody needs to rely on the silicon vendor to fix those for them, and they may even decide a particular bug is not important to them, so you’d be out of luck. So the developer community has long tried to reverse-engineer GPU drivers with projects like Freedreno (Qualcomm Adreno), Etnaviv (Vivante), as well as Lima and Panfrost for Arm Mali GPUs. Several years ago, Arm management was not interested at all collaborating with open-source GPU driver development for Mali GPUs, but as noted by Phoronix, Alyssa Rosenzweig,  a graphics software engineer employed by Collabora, explained Panfrost development was now done in partnership with Arm during a talk at the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC 2020). A recent merge commit confirms the move with Daniel Stone, Graphics Leads at Collabora commenting To reiterate the answer from earlier […]

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JPEGDEC is a Faster JPEG Arduino Library Designed for 32-bit MCUs

In order to ensure software compatibility, Arduino libraries are supposed to work on various types of hardware from 8-bit microcontrollers with a limited amount of memory to more powerful 32-bit chips like STM32 Arm Cortex-M MCU or ESP32 dual-core Tensilica WiSoC that can access a larger amount of RAM. This is all good, but in some cases, this may affect performance. Larry Bank noticed this when looking for a JPEG viewers for Arduino and only found ones which sacrificed speed to work on MCUs with very little RAM. So he started to work on JPEDDEC JPEG Arduino library optimized for speed and compatible with any MCU with at least 20K of RAM. Optimizations go beyond just loading more data into memory, as Larry explains in a blog post, the library also performs the removal of stuffed bytes, optimize the Huffman decode and DCT parts, and more. Some of the key features of the library include: Support for any MCU with […]

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Perfetto Profiler Now Supports Mali GPU Hardware Counters via Panfrost

Perfetto is an open-source system profiler, app tracer, and trace analyzer for Linux, Android & Chrome platforms, and user-space apps. The program can already visualize CPU and memory usage, as well as power consumption.  GPU support is more limited with the program only capable of sampling the GPU frequency when the driver outputs that information via ftrace. When Perfetto is also extendable thanks to a Tracing C++ SDK that “allows userspace applications to emit trace events and add more app-specific context to a Perfetto trace”. Collabora made use of the tracing SDK to add support for Mali Midgard GPU performance profiling in gfx-pps project using the Mali GPU hardware counters exposed via Panfrost open-source Mali GPU driver. After following the installation instructions, you’ll be able to run the following executables for tracing and profiling: tracedtracing service. traced_probes OS probes service. perfetto command-line tool for recording traces. producer-gpuproviding the Panfrost data source. There’s also gpu.cfgconfig file to feed as input to […]

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Raspberry Pi VideoCore IV Boards Get an Unofficial Vulkan Driver Good Enough to Play Quake 3

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is collaborating with Igalia to work on everything related to graphics support for VideoCore VI GPU found in Raspberry Pi 4’s Broadcom BCM2711 SoC. This lead to OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance at the beginning of the year, and good progress with Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan support. There’s no plan to work on an official Vulkan driver for earlier Raspberry Pi  boards with VideoCore IV GPU, but since the Raspberry Pi Foundation released open-source VideoCore IV driver and documentation several years ago, it’s, in theory, possible for skilled developers to improve on it. That’s exactly what Martin Thomas, an NVIDIA engineer, has done in his spare time, and after two years of work, a Vulkan driver for Raspberry Pi VideoCore IV board – RPi-VK-Driver – has been released on Github. Pi-VK-Driver implements a subset of the Vulkan, and since it is not fully conformant to the standard it cannot technically be called a Vulkan driver as it […]

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