Raspberry Pi 4 V3DV graphics driver achieves Vulkan 1.0 conformance

Sascha Willems’ Vulkan radial blur demo

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 […]

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

Current status of Vulkan driver

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 […]

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

Imagination IMG B-Series GPU: BXT MC4

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 […]

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

Raspberry Pi 3 Vulkan VideoCore IV GPU

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 […]

Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan Source Code Released, More Complex Vulkan Demos Supported

Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan Demo

The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced they had started working on Vulkan support for Raspberry Pi 4 in January with the initial implementation being able to render the “hello world of graphics”, i.e. a basic triangle. Progress are been made with the Mesa 3D library been able to render more complex demos, specifically Sascha Willems Vulkan demos. That’s encouraging, but the current Vulkan implementation is still not usable to play games on Raspberry Pi, and some of Sascha’s Vulkan demos are still not working at the time of writing. Yet the list of working demos is fairly long: distancefieldfonts descriptorsets dynamicuniformbuffer gears gltfscene imgui indirectdraw occlusionquery parallaxmapping pbrbasic, pbribl, pbrtexture pushconstants scenerendering shadowmapping,  shadowmappingcascade specializationconstants sphericalenvmapping stencilbuffer textoverlay texture, texture3d, texturecubemap triangle vulkanscene The other good news is that Igalia and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have now released the source code of v3dv fork of Mesa library on Freedesktop Gitlab so […]

Panfrost Gets First 3D Renders on Bifrost GPU (Mali-G31) including Basic Texture Support

Collabora has been working on Panfrost open-source Arm Mali GPU driver for over a year. The drive aims to support both Midgard and Bifrost families. But so far, the company had mostly focused on Midgard (Mali-T6xx/T7xx) GPUs with for example experimental OpenGL ES 3.0 support announced last February. Collabora engineers, such as Alyssa Rosenzweig, have now started to work on Bifrost support, and some good progress has been made since they managed to have Panfrost render the first 3D graphics with basic texture support using a platform with an Arm Mali-G31 GPU. Alyssa notes that while Midgard and Bifrost have a similar command stream requiring a few changes, the Bifrost instruction set is completely different and required building a new compiler from scratch. This leads to changes to the Intermediate Representation (IR), 16-bit data support, a different register allocation mechanism due to adapt to irregular vector architectures, and the latter […]

Qt for MCUs 1.1 Adds Support for more STM32 and NXP i.MX RT Boards, FreeRTOS

Qt for MCUs 1.1 Installer

The first stable version of Qt for MCUs was released in August 2019 in order to bring Qt graphical toolkit to microcontrollers such as STMicro STM32F7,  Renesas RH850, or NXP i.MX RT1050.   Qt for MCUs would run bare metal on supported boards, and software engineers would develop graphical interface using QML and C++. Qt for MCUs 1.1 has just been released with the addition of more STM32 and i.MX RT boards, support for FreeRTOS real-time operating system, and more. Qt for MCUs 1.1 highlights: Five new supported boards:  NXP i.MX RT 1064 EVK, STM32 H750B-DK, STM32 F469i-disco, STM32 L4R9i-disco, and STM32 L4R9i-eval Asset management Optional PNG compressions for assets to lower storage footprint Option to read data directly from flash memory for lower RAM consumption, or copy to RAM for better performance, at the cost of higher RAM consumption. FreeRTOS support (technology preview) to run background tasks without blocking the […]

Raspberry Pi 4 is Now OpenGL ES 3.1 Conformant, Work on Vulkan Drivers Started

Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4 was launched last June with a new Broadcom BCM2711 SoC featuring an upgraded Videocore VI GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics API. Some drivers only implement a subset of OpenGL 3.0/3.1 3D graphics standard defined by the Khronos Group, and the good news is that Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is now OpenGL ES 3.1 conformant, as it passed all tests in Khronos conformance test suite. That means that any Linux programmed using OpenGL ES 3.1 API should work out of the box, although in some cases there may be issues/bugs that were not detected by the test suite. The Vulkan API is an evolution of OpenGL ES API that is meant to be more power-efficient as it better makes utilize of multi-core processors. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has also started working on Vulkan support for Raspberry Pi 4, and while the driver is […]

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