Arm Releases Android / Linux Vulkan User Space Drivers for Mali GPUs (HiKey 960, Firefly-RK3288 Boards)

A little while ago, I wrote about Imagination’s PowerVR CLDNN Neural Network SDK and Image for Acer Chromebook R13, and some people looks into the Arch Linux Arm image and were pleasantly surprised to find Vulkan drivers, as it was the first Arm platform support Vulkan in Linux. It looks like there are now more Arm hardware supporting Vulkan drivers in Linux, as Arm has released binary user-space components for GNU/Linux and Android for development platforms featuring the Arm Mali Midgard GPU family, and – provided the GPU can handle it – supporting the following APIs: OpenGL ES 1.1 / 2.0 / 3.0 / 3.1 / 3.2, OpenCL 1.1 / 1.2 / 2.0, Vulkan 1.0, and RenderScript. Mali-G71 GPU is supported by Android 8.0 and Linux (fbdev) ARM64 drivers for Hikey 960 board, and Mali-T760 should be supported by Linux drivers (fbdev / wayland / X11) for Firefly-RK3288 board. Hikey 960 and Firefly-RK3288 drivers don’t have specific files about Vulkan, …

Rockchip Unveils RK3308 & Gemini Cortex-A35 Processors for Smart Speakers

Rockchip has posted a tweet about smart speakers, specifically about Midea AI speaker based on Rockchip RK3229, but the second image is what caught my eyes, as it reveals two new Arm Cortex A35 processor designed for “Smart AI solutions”, namely RK3308 and “Gemini” Processor. Rockchip RK3308 “mainstream” processor specifications: CPU – Quad core Cortex A35 processor GPU – TBD (maybe none?) Audio Integrated 8-ch ADC and hardware VAD (Voice Activity Detection) module Multi-channel PDM/I2S/TDM audio interface Rockchip Gemini “high-end” processor specifications: CPU – Quad core Cortex A35 processor GPU – Mali Dvalin MP2 GPU Audio – “high-end smart audio solution”; multi-channel PDM/I2S/TDM audio interface Video I/O – LCD screen & camera support Rockchip will provide support for Android Thing and Linux for the processors, as well as integration with MIC arrays boards and popular voice services such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant,  Baidu DuerOS, and others. Arm Cortex A35 64-bit processor was unveiled in 2015 as a replacement for …

Arm Introduces Mali-G52 & Mali-G31 GPUs, Mali-D51 Display Processor, and Mali-V52 Video Processor for Mainstream Devices

Arm has just announced four multimedia Mali IP blocks to be found in SoC for mainstream devices: Mali-G52 GPU with 30% faster performance over Mali-G51, and 3.6x better machine learning performance Mali-G31 GPU that’s 20% smaller, and 20% more efficient than Mali-G51, supports OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan APIs Mali-D51 display processor 30% power saving, 50% lower latency compared to Mali-DP650 Mali-V52 video processor supporting 4K60/4K120 content Mali-G52 GPU Arm may have introduced Project Trillium for object detection and machine learning a few weeks ago, but the solution is better suited to premium devices, so the company’s Mali-G52 bitfrost mainstream GPU aims to fill the void for mid-range devices with up to 3.6 times faster machine learning capability over Mali-G51. Based on the first illustration, Mali-G52 will probably be coupled with DynamIQ Cortex A75/A55 processors. Other benefits of the new GPU include 30% more performance density, and 15% better energy efficiency. Mali-G52 will be clocked up to 850 MHz delivering 6.5 …

Mainline Linux on Amlogic S905/S905X/S912 SoCs – 2018 Status Update

BayLibre is working on mainline Linux for Amlogic SoC, and in February of last year, Neil Armstrong gave a presentation entitled “Mainline Linux on AmLogic SoCs” at the Embedded Linux Conference 2017. Neil has recently (actually yesterday) given another presentation about the status of mainline Linux on Amlogic processor at linux.conf.au 2018, so we have some updated information now. He goes through the whole history of upstreaming Linux for Amlogic SoCs, but I’ll provided summary of the new features, and if you have time you can watch the video (25 minutes) embed below, or the slides. Early last year, Linux 4.10 already supported general I/Os, USB host (for S905), Gigabit Ethernet, eMMC/SD/SDIO, PSCI for SMP, and SCPI for DVFS for Amlogic processor, and BayLibre was said to be working on HDMI display support, Mali (as external module), audio input/output, and high-speed eMMC modes. Based on the slide above, with Linux 4.14, the (e)MMC driver now support HS200 @ 50 MHz, …

Allwinner SoCs with Mali GPU Get Mainline Linux OpenGL ES Support

OpenGL ES support in Linux for ARM SoC is usually pretty hard to get because of closed source binary blobs coupled with the manufacturers focus on Android. Workarounds include open driver projects such as Freedreno for Qualcomm Adreno GPU, Nouveau for Tegra, or Etnaviv for Vivante GPUs, as well as libhybris library that converts Linux calls into Android calls in order to leverage existing Android GPU binary blobs. Allwinner processors relies on either PoverVR or ARM Mali GPU, and the former does not have any open source project, while some work is still being going for the latter with Lima project, but it’s not ready yet. That means so far, you’re only option was to use libhybris for either GPU family. The good news is that Free Electrons engineers have been working on OpenGL ES support for ARM Mali GPU for Allwinner processor, and have been allowed to release the userspace binary blobs. Not quite as exciting as an actual …

Open Source ARM Compute Library Released with NEON and OpenCL Accelerated Functions for Computer Vision, Machine Learning

GPU compute promises to deliver much better performance compared to CPU compute for application such a computer vision and machine learning, but the problem is that many developers may not have the right skills or time to leverage APIs such as OpenCL. So ARM decided to write their own ARM Compute library and has now released it under an MIT license. The functions found in the library include: Basic arithmetic, mathematical, and binary operator functions Color manipulation (conversion, channel extraction, and more) Convolution filters (Sobel, Gaussian, and more) Canny Edge, Harris corners, optical flow, and more Pyramids (such as Laplacians) HOG (Histogram of Oriented Gradients) SVM (Support Vector Machines) H/SGEMM (Half and Single precision General Matrix Multiply) Convolutional Neural Networks building blocks (Activation, Convolution, Fully connected, Locally connected, Normalization, Pooling, Soft-max) The library works on Linux, Android or bare metal on armv7a (32bit) or arm64-v8a (64bit) architecture, and makes use of  NEON, OpenCL, or  NEON + OpenCL. You’ll need an …

Mainline Linux on 64-bit ARM Amlogic SoCs, and TV Boxes such as Wetek Hub / Player 2, NEXBOX A1 / A95X, etc…

We’ve already seen Neil Armstrong, part of BayLibre, worked on adding Amlogic SoC (S905/S905X/S912) to mainline Linux via our virtual schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2017. But at the time, although we could see some activity in Linux 4.10 including support for Nexbox A95X and Nexbox A1, they did provide that much details the work that had been done, but since then, ELC 2017 videos have been released, and BayLibre wrote a short post about 3D Graphics support in mainline Linux. We can see that I/Os, USB host, composite video output, Ethernet, eMMC/SDIO, and PSCI and SCPI features have already been added to Linux 4.10. but some important features have not yet including HDMI, Mali support, Audio, and high speed eMMC modes. HDMI is actually planned for Linux 4.12, which could be released in about 18 weeks if we keep the 10 weeks kernel release schedule we had in the past. WeTek Hub and Play 2 …

Samsung Launches Exynos 9 Series 8895 SoC with Custom ARMv8 Cores, Mali-G71 GPU, Gigabit LTE Modem, 10nm FinFET Process

Samsung Electronics has just announced the launch of its latest Exynos application processor (AP), with Exynos 9 Series 8895 octa-core processor with four second generation custom designed ARMv8  CPU cores, and four Cortex A53 cores, as well as a Mali-G71 3D GPU, and a Gigabit LTE modem. The LTE modem delivers data throughput at up to 1Gbps (Cat.16) downlink with 5CA (five carrier aggregation), and 150Mbps (Cat.13) uplink with 2CA. The SoC also embeds an “advanced MFC” (multi-format codec) for recording and playback at up to 4K UHD at 120 fps, a Vision Processing Unit for video tracking, image process, and machine vision technology, and another processing unit allows for mobile payments using iris or fingerprint recognition. Exynos 8895 is also the first application processor manufactured with 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology and improved 3D transistor structure, which according to Samsung, allows for up to 27% higher performance, while consuming 40% less power when compared to 14nm technology. Samsung Exynos …