GNOME Renders on Arm Mali-G31 Bifrost GPU with Fully Open Source Code

Panfrost ODROID Go Advance Black Edition

We first wrote about Panfrost open-source Arm Mali GPU driver getting initial support for Mali-G31 Bifrost GPU in late April, when engineers at Collabora managed to run some basic demos. Progress has been fast-paced as the company has now implemented support for all major features of OpenGL ES 2.0 and some features of OpenGL 2.1. That means hardware-based on Arm Mali-G31 GPU such as ODROID Go Advance (used for testing) can run Wayland compositors with zero-copy graphics, including GNOME 3, every scene in glmark2-es2 benchmarks, and some 3D games such as Neverball. All without any binary blobs. The company also claims to support hardware-accelerated video players mpv and Kodi. The way it should work is that while Panfrost driver renders the user interface, Amlogic open-source video decoder developed by BayLibre handles hardware video decoding. All changes are already included in upstream Mesa with no out-of-tree patches required, and Bifrost support can be enabled using PAN_MESA_DEBUG=bifrost environmental variable. There are many …

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Linux 5.7 Released – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.7 Changelog

OK… I’m a bit late on that one. Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.7 last week: So we had a fairly calm last week, with nothing really screaming “let’s delay one more rc”. Knock wood – let’s hope we don’t have anything silly lurking this time, like the last-minute wifi regression we had in 5.6.. But embarrassing regressions last time notwithstanding, it all looks fine. And most of the discussion I’ve seen the last week or two has been about upcoming features, so the merge window is now open  and I’ll start processing pull requests tomorrow as usual. But in the meantime, please give this a whirl. We’ve got a lot of changes in 5.7 as usual (all the stats look normal – but “normal” for us obviously pretty big and means “almost 14 thousand non-merge commits all over, from close to two thousand developers”), So the appended shortlog is only the small stuff that came in this last week since …

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X96Q Android 10 TV Box Shows Up with Allwinner H313 Quad-core Cortex-A53 Processor

X96Q Android 10 TV Box

It looks like Allwinner has come up with a new confusing processor. Allwinner H3 is a popular quad-core Cortex-A7 processor that’s been around for years, but the company has now launched an Allwinner H313 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor that’s found in some TV boxes running Android 10, namely X96Q with 1 to 2 GB RAM, and 8 to 16GB storage. X96Q TV box specifications: SoC – Allwinner H313 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.35 GHz with Arm Mali G31 MP2 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan System Memory – 1GB/2GB SDRAM Storage – 8GB/16GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz, AV port for video composite + stereo audio Video Codecs VP9 Profile-2 up to 4K 30fps  H.265 Main10 @ L5.1 up to 4K 60fps  AVS2 JiZhun 10-bit Profile up to 4K 60fps  H.264 BP/MP/HP @ L4.2 up to 4K 30fps  H.263 BP up to 1080p60 MPEG-4 …

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Allwinner A-Series Processors 2020-2021 Roadmap – Allwinner A33E, A100 and A200 SoCs

We previously discussed Allwinner business units where each can share the same silicon (with different a name) but maintains its own software stacks for different target applications. Allwinner A-Series is the most well-known as Allwinner A10 & A20 were very popular SoC for tablets and TV boxes many years ago. CNX Software received two slides that originated from Allwinner this morning. The first one shows the different Allwinner processor families, and the second provides a roadmap for A-Series processors for tablets with A33E, A100, and A200 coming this year and next. Let’s go through the Allwinner processor families first and their main use case: R-Series and MR-Series – Smart home applications A-Series – Tablets VR-Series – Virtual reality H-Series and F-Series- High-performance applications like multimedia (TV boxes) T-Series- Automotive, I suppose mostly infotainment V-Series – Camera SoCs XR/XIN-Series – Wireless chips like the infamous XR819 WiFi chip. AXP – PMIC (Power Management IC) accompanying the company’s Arm SoCs The second …

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Linux 5.6 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.6 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.6 on the Linux Kernel Mailing List: So I’ll admit to vacillating between doing this 5.6 release and doing another -rc. This has a bit more changes than I’d like, but they are mostly from davem’s networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary. It’s just slightly more than I’d have preferred at this stage – not doesn’t really seem worth delaying a release over. So about half the diff from the final week is network driver fixlets, and some minor core networking fixes. Another 20% is tooling – mostly bpf and netfilter selftests (but also some perf work). The rest is “misc” – mostly random drivers (gpio, rdma, input) and DTS files. With a smattering of fixes elsewhere (a couple of afs fixes, some vm fixes, etc). The shortlog is appended, nothing really looks all that exciting, …

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Allwinner H616 TV Box Processor Comes with Mali G31 GPU, Supports Android 10

Allwinner H616

Allwinner H6 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor with Arm Mali-T720 GPU was launched in 2017 and made its way into various TV boxes and SBC’s. But last year, we got some news of lower-cost versions of the processor with Allwinner H603 and H6 VC200-OS SoC’s. Allwinner H616 Processor Advantages So the first time, I read about Allwinner H616, I thought it was yet another variant of little interest. But it turns out H616 is the first processor from the company with a Bitfrost GPU, namely Mali G31MP2, meaning it supports Vulkan, and down the line, it could potentially be supported by Panfrost open-source graphics driver. Another positive for the processor is support for Android 10, while AFAIK other H6 processors are stuck to Android 9.0. Another advantage is low power consumption leading to lower CPU temperature. It might be a process change or some other optimizations in the silicon, we just don’t know at this stage. The illustration also claims a lower …

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NetBSD 9.0 Released with Aarch64 Support, Arm ServerReady Compatibility

NetBSD 9.0

Yesterday, we wrote about Raspberry Pi 4 getting UEFI+ACPI firmware for Arm SSBR compliance allowing the board to run operating systems designed for “Arm ServerReady” servers out of the box. NetBSD 9.0 was just released on February 14, 2020, with support for Aarch64 (64-bit Arm) which had been in the works for a few years, and includes support for “Arm ServerReady” compliant machines (SBBR+SBSA). NetBSD 9.0 main changes related to hardware support: Support for AArch64 (64-bit Armv8-A) machines Compatibility with “Arm ServerReady” compliant machines (SBBR+SBSA) using ACPI. Tested on Amazon Graviton and Graviton2 (including bare metal instances), AMD Opteron A1100, Ampere eMAG 8180, Cavium ThunderX, Marvell ARMADA 8040, QEMU w/ Tianocore EDK2 Symmetric and asymmetrical multiprocessing support (big.LITTLE) Support for running 32-bit binaries via COMPAT_NETBSD32 on CPUs that support it Single GENERIC64 kernel supports ACPI and device tree based booting Supported SoCs Allwinner A64, H5, H6 Amlogic S905, S805X, S905D, S905W, S905X Broadcom BCM2837 (Raspberry Pi 3B) NVIDIA Tegra X1 …

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Linux 5.5 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.5 Changelog

Linux 5.5 has just been released by Linus Torvalds: So this last week was pretty quiet, and while we had a late network update with some (mainly iwl wireless) network driver and netfilter module loading fixes, David didn’t think that warranted another -rc. And outside of that, it’s really been very quiet indeed – there’s a panfrost driver update too, but again it didn’t really seem to make sense to delay the final release by another week. Outside of those, it’s all really tiny, even if some of those tiny changes touched some core files. So despite the slight worry that the holidays might have affected the schedule, 5.5 ended up with the regular rc cadence and is out now. That means that the merge window for 5.6 will open tomorrow, and I already have a couple of pull requests pending. The timing for this next merge window isn’t optimal for me – I have some travel and other things …

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