ARM Releases Kernel Drivers for Mali-T880 / T860 GPUs, User Space Drivers for Mali-T76x GPUs

ARM Mali GPU drivers includes both open source kernel drivers, and binary userspace drivers supporting framebuffer and/ior X11 implementation. The former is rarely an issue and is quickly released, but the latter requires porting and testing for a specific hardware platform, as well legal work, which greatly delay the releases. Mali-T880 GPU was announced at the beginning of the month together with ARM Cortex A72, and on February 17, 2015, ARM released an update to their Mali-T600 series, Mali-T700 series & Mali-T860/T880 GPU kernel device drivers with revision r5p1-00rel0 that adds supports to Mali-T860 and Mali-T880 GPU. These open source drivers are available for Android and Linux, and also support early Mali-T700 and T600 GPUs. Separately, the company has also released Mali-T76X GPU drivers for Firefly board powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 processor featuring a Mali-T764 GPU. The first release only supports the framebuffer driver, but ARM […]

Linux 3D GPU Acceleration Demo on Rockchip RK3288 based Firefly Board

Several devices and development boards based on Rockchip RK3288 processor already support Linux, usually with images based on Ubuntu, including Ugoos UM3 / UT3, Open Hour Chameleon, and Firefly-RK3288 among others. What these images lack however, is support for 2D and 3D graphics acceleration with the GPU, and hardware video decoding/encoding with the VPU. But Jas-hacks has made some progress with 3D graphics support. He has managed to add GPU acceleration via EGL/OpenGL ES bringing 3D acceleration to the platform, but 2D support is not there yet, meaning X11 still heavily relies on software rendering. But the implementation is still good enough to run the usual es2gears and glmark2-es2 benchmarks. as well as some WebGL demos in Chromium. Performance is currently underwhelming, with 50 points in glmark-es2, even a bit lower than the score (54 points) I got with ODROID-X board powered by Exynos 4412 SoC with a Mali-400MP4 GPU, […]

Independent Dual Display Support on Firefly-RK3288 Development Board (Video)

From time to time, I’m being asked which platform can support dual independent displays, and although I noticed Mele A1000 (Allwinner A10) did support dual displays in Linux, I never really investigated how well it handles it, so I normally recommend to have a look at x86 platforms with AMD or Intel processor that specifically claim support for dual independent display. But today, I’ve noticed a developer working for T-Chip posted a nice demo on T-Firefly forums with two displays connected via HDMI and VGA. The demo shows Firefly-RK3288 development board running Android with two displays in three configurations: Display Mirroring – The same content is shown on both display. Especially useful for digital signage application, where one board can drive two displays with the same content Extended Desktop – The user interface is extended on both monitors. It’s like having a single large monitor with a 32:9 aspect ratio […]

Linux Benchmarks – Rockchip RK3288 vs Exynos 5422 vs AllWinner A80 vs Intel Atom Z3735F

With all these Intel Atom Z3735F been released right now at a price similar to ARM based mini PCs, many people, including myself, are wondering about the performance of the low cost Intel processor against their ARM competitors. Ian Morrison just published some results from Phoronix Test Suite comparing the performance of  Firefly-RK3288 (Rockchip RK3288), ODROID-XU3 Lite (Samsung Exynos 5422 BIN2), and A80 OptimusBoard (Allwinner A80) in Linux (Ununtu 12.04.5), against the performance of MeegoPad T01 (Intel Atom Z3735F) running Linux from a Live CD on a USB drive. Some of the benchmarks failed because Phoronix Test Suite got apparently confused with the file systems located on a USB drive, but at least we’ve got a comparison point, and the results are a bit confusing, as they’re no clear winner. In some tests like FFmpeg, the Intel SoC really crushed the ARM competition being at least twice as fast as […]

Firefly-RK3288 Development Board in Mass Production, Selling for $140

Firefly-RK3288 development board has been an interesting, yet confusing story, at least to me. We’ve first heard about the Firefly board on July, but I was privately told in September that the board would only be sold in China by a T-Chip sales person, only to see it become available for $189 on Ebay, as well as on Taobao a few days later. But those first boards may have only been engineering sample, or more likely from a limited trial runs, as the company has now announced mass production had started. Let’s refresh our memory with the specifications: SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12 / A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1 System Memory – 2G DDR3 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot Video Output HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×[email protected] VGA out (D-SUB connector) Dual MIPI, Dual LVDS and and […]

Firefly-RK3288 Development Board is Now Available for $189

Three days ago, a T-chip representative informed me privately that Firefly development board (Rockchip RK3288) would not be available on foreign websites, and that it was unclear when the board would be selling in China. So either I’ve been lied to, or there’s poor internal communication within the company, as they’ve now listed Firefly-RK3288 board on Taobao for 800 CNY (~$130), and it’s also available on GeekBuying for $159 including shipping, possibly by somebody unrelated to T-chip, especially there are only 3 units for sale. Let’s go the specifications that have slightly changed since the original announcement: SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12 / A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1 System Memory – 2G DDR3 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot Video I/O HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×[email protected] VGA out (D-SUB connector) Dual MIPI, Dual LVDS and and EDP […]

Rockchip RK3126, RK3128, and “MayBach” Octo-core Cortex A53 Processor Could Be Found in Tablets in Q4 2014

T-chip, the company behind Firefly-RK3288 development board and HPH NT-V6 media player, has sent me their latest company brochure this morning. The brochure mentions the company history since 2005, various tablets solutions they have done over the year, and new and upcoming products. One of the slides particularly caught my attention. RK3288 is pretty popular right now, but I had never heard about RK3126 and RK3128 SoC with four ARM Cortex A7 core with a Mali GPU supporting HEVC decoding up to 1080p resolution. Both processors are manufactured using 40nm technology, so I’d guess these target ultra low cost tablets, which should become available in October and November 2014. Even more interesting is the mention of “MayBach” Tablets. I’ve been told MayBach, which could just be a temporary codename, is an upcoming Rockchip SoC. Based on the information in the slide, it should be an Octa-core Cortex A53 processor with […]

Rockchip RK3288 Android 4.4.2 SDK and Schematics Released for Firefly Board

Firefly-RK3288 development board was first announced in July. I still don’t have news about availability nor pricing, but the T-Firefly website launched yesterday. They seem do have a nice Wiki, but unfortunately everything is currently in Chinese, except when you go to the download page. You’ll find firmware upgrade_tool for Linux and Windows, the USB drivers for rooting and firmware update, firmware images (Android 4.4.2, Ubuntu 14.04, and dual boot), the board schematics (PDF), and Android KitKat 4.4.2 SDK with U-Boot, Linux, and Android source code, some documentation, XBMC apk (no source) with H.265 hardware decode support for MP4, MOV and MKV container formats. The SDK is available on Bitbucket. I planned to test it, but unfortunately my network connection is very slow (and unstable) to this server, and I failed to retrieve it with git clone. The company also posted the build instructions in Chinese in their website, but […]