Imagination Unveils IMG A-Series GPU Designed For Everything from IoT to Mobile and Server

IMG A-Series GPU

Imagination Technologies has just launched IMG A-Series GPU which they claim is “The GPU of Everything” and “The fastest GPU IP ever”. IMG A-Series can be customized and scaled for various applications & markets from automotive, AIoT, set-top box, mobile, and server.  Compared to the company’s earlier PowerVR 9Series GPU, IMG A-Series GPU delivers 2.5 times more performance, eight times faster AI processor, and 60% less power while running complex content with the same process node, area, and under similar conditions. IMG A-Series GPU supports the latest API standards including OpenGL ES, Vulkan, OpenCL, and Imagination provides a Unified AI API for use in combination with PowerVR neural network accelerators. It also offers 5x performance density compared to the best current shipping PowerVR devices and supports PVRIC4 lossless or virtually-lossless compression guaranteeing a 50% bandwidth and footprint reduction. The new GPU also leverages HyperLane Technology with up to eight individual, isolated hardware control lanes for multizone hardware virtualization leading to …

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Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.3 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it’s very annoying, it’s perhaps also instructive. What’s instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn’t actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that …

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Qt for MCUs – Qt Announces support for Microcontrollers

QT_TitleImage1

[Update August 24, 2019: Added information about expected release date and license] About Qt for MCUs Qt- The well known opensource toolkit for creating graphical interface announced their new release: Qt for MCUs, targeting MCU’s. The new graphical toolkit will be capable of running on devices without operating system. This may be a game changer in the entire MCU world, since Qt for MCUs allows developers to create fluid user interfaces on cost-effective micro controllers. This means we will be able to see smartphone like GUI’s which are running on low-end  MCU’s with limited resources. With reference to their press release, assuring that Qt-GUI will consume less power to save the battery life. Qt for MCUs Software Stack While developing any applications for MCU,  developers still can use their powerful declarative UI language QML and rich set of ready-made Qt Quick controls.  And the C++ APIs, helps the user interface with C++  based back-end. applications are being rendered by Qt’s …

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Rock Pi 4 SBC Runs GNOME & KDE Plasma using Panfrost Open Source GPU Driver & Wayland

RK3399 Panfrost GNOME

One of the highlights of Linux 5.2 release was support for two new Arm Mali GPU open-source drivers, namely Lima for Mali-4xx GPU, and Panfrost for the Midgard Mali-T6xx/7xx/8xx series, and the more recent Bifrost Mali-Gxx GPUs. Collabora worked on the release and was donated a few Rock Pi 4 boards from Radxa directly to work on the project. For those who are not familiar, Rock Pi 4 board is powered by a Rockchip RK3399 processor with a Mali-T860MP4 GPU that is supported by Panfrost open source GPU driver. The company managed to have Debian 10 Buster running on Rock Pi 4 using 3D graphics acceleration thanks to Panfrost drivers on both GNOME and KDE Plasma desktop environment, as well as Weston Wayland compositer. The good news is that you can build Rock Pi 4 images by yourself using Debos with the following commands: Alternatively, you could directly download pre-built images directly with Weston and Panfrost. You can login with …

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Linux 5.2 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.2 Changelog

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 5.2 last Sunday: So I was somewhat pre-disposed towards making an rc8, simply because of my travels and being entirely off the internet for a few days last week, and with spotty internet for a few days before that [*]. But there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for another rc, since it’s been very quiet. Yes, I had a few pull requests since rc7, but they were all small, and I had many more that are for the upcoming merge window. Part of it may be due to the July 4th week, of course, but whatever – I’ll take the quiet week as a good sign. So despite a fairly late core revert, I don’t see any real reason for another week of rc, and so we have a v5.2 with the normal release timing. There’s no particular area that stands out there – the changes are sosmall that the appended …

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Google Fuchsia Operating System Gets its own Developer Website

Fuchsia Documentation

Google has been developing Fuchsia open source operating system based on Zircon kernel for several years. It’s still unclear what’s the end goal. Will it replace Android or/and Chrome OS, ditching the Linux kernel for Zircon in the process? We don’t know, and Google claims its an experimental endeavor. Only the future will tell. We’ve had access to the source code since 2016,  but Google has now launched a dedicated developer website for Fuchsia: fuchsia.dev This is year 2019, and Google being a Western company it should not be surprising the first part of the documentation is a Code of Conduct, but there’s also plenty of technical documentation with a glossary, getting started guide, building instructions, an overview of the OS, code samples, and instructions to contribute either by testing or submitting changes to Gerrit. Fuchsia is strictly a 64-bit operating system at this stage with support for Arm64 and x86-64 ISA only. If you want to test drive Fuchsia …

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Kazan Software Vulkan Implementation is Optimized for RISC-V Processors

Kazan Vulkan RISC-V GPU

More and more people want to run fully open source systems due to philosophical, privacy and security concerns, but on embedded systems with a GPU is often hard to achieve due to closed-source binary blobs. Projects such as Freedreno and Etnaviv have freed Qualcomm Adreno and Vivante GPUs, but it takes years to implement workable reverse-engineered open source GPU drivers. One solution to get an open source graphics driver from the get-go is to implement the rendering into the CPU, but the problem is that it’s usually really slow, and GPU’s are much faster thanks to their ability to quickly handle parallel tasks. Kazan is a software-rendering Vulkan implementation, but it may be eventually end up as a low-end soft-GPU in some RISC-V SoCs thanks to specific instructions. I found out about Kazan through the Libre RISC-V M-Class chip project that aims to be a low-power, mobile-class, 64-bit quad-core SoC clocked at a minimum 800 MHz clock rate and relying …

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Google Pik Image Format Improves on Lossy JPEG and Lossless PNG

Google Pik butteraugli

JPEG lossy compression is still used on most photos in the Internet, while PNG is still the preferred format for lossless compressions. Back in 2010, Google unveiled WebP to improve on both, but that’s only very recently that I started to see a few webp image on the Internet. The company has been working on yet another image for with Pik lossy/lossless image format designed for high quality and fast decoding. Some of the features enabling high quality: Built-in support for psychovisual modeling via adaptive quantization and XYB color space 4×4..32×32 DCT, AC/DC predictors, chroma from luma, nonlinear loop filter, enhanced DC precision Full-precision (32-bit float) processing, plus support for wide gamut and high dynamic range Features allowing faster decoding over 1 GB/s multi-threaded: Parallel processing of large images SIMD/GPU-friendly, benefits from SSE4 or AVX2 Cache-friendly layout Fast and effective entropy coding: context modeling with clustering, rANS Google Pik is royalty-free, and is said to achieve perceptually lossless encodings at …

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