Arm Officially Supports Panfrost Open-Source Mali GPU Driver Development

Most GPU drivers found in Arm processors are known to be closed-source making it difficult and time-consuming to fix some of the bugs since everybody needs to rely on the silicon vendor to fix those for them, and they may even decide a particular bug is not important to them, so you’d be out of luck. So the developer community has long tried to reverse-engineer GPU drivers with projects like Freedreno (Qualcomm Adreno), Etnaviv (Vivante), as well as Lima and Panfrost for Arm Mali GPUs. Several years ago, Arm management was not interested at all collaborating with open-source GPU driver development for Mali GPUs, but as noted by Phoronix, Alyssa Rosenzweig,  a graphics software engineer employed by Collabora, explained Panfrost development was now done in partnership with Arm during a talk at the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC 2020). A recent merge commit confirms the move with Daniel Stone, Graphics Leads at Collabora commenting To reiterate the answer from earlier …

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

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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Panfrost Open-Source Arm Mali GPU Driver Gets Experimental OpenGL ES 3.0 Support

Panfrost is the open-source driver being developed for Arm Midgard and Bitfrost GPUs. The first versions focused on support for OpenGL ES 2.0, but the more recent OpenGL ES 3.0 enables faster and more realistic rendering. The goods news is that Panfrost support for experimental OpenGL ES 3.0 has landed in Mesa according to a recent post on Collabora blog. Specifically, Panfrost now supports instanced rendering, primitive restart, uniform buffer objects, 3D textures, and multiple render targets (on Mali T760 and up) all of which are OpenGL ES 3.0 features. People who are not into graphics development may not know about the purpose of those features, but Alyssa Rosenzweig, a free software graphics hacker leading Panfrost, explains: … instanced rendering and primitive restart allow developers to write faster graphics applications, to render efficiently scenes more complex than possible in ES 2.0. … uniform buffer objects and 3D texture give developers a more natural environment to write efficient graphics shaders, again …

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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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Arm Introduces Cortex-A77 CPU and Mali-G77 GPU

Arm Cortex A77

Arm unveiled its Cortex-A76 CPU and Mali-G76 GPU right before Computex 2018, so it should come as no surprise that the company decided to make announcements for the upgrades before Computex 2019 with the just introduced Arm Cortex-A77 processor, and Mali-G77 GPU. Arm Cortex-A77 Processor highlights: 64-bit Armv8 CPU with support for Armv8.1 and Armv8.2 extensions, as well as Armv8.3 with LDAPR instructions only Up to 4 processors per cluster Cache – 64KB L1 I-Cache / D-Cache, 256KB to 512KB L2 Cache, optional L3 Cache between  512KB and 4MB Improved performance for mobile and laptop devices enabling AAA-gaming, faster web-browsing and application launch time. Brings always-on, always-connected feature set of mobile to laptop devices Compatible with the newly announced Mali-G77 and machine learning (ML) processor. Compared to Cortex-A76, Cortex-A77 yields up to 20% improved IPC performance with similar efficiency. The new IP core is basically an upgrade over A76 with the same key features but better performance, as you can …

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Arm Announces Cortex-A76 CPU with Laptop-class Performance, Mali-G76 GPU, Mali-V76 8K VPU

Arm Cortex A75 based processors are only found in a few SoCs and devices, but Arm keeps on innovating, and they’ve now announced a new suite of of IP with Cortex-A76 CPU enabling 35 percent more performance, and Mali-G76 GPU with ML support and 30 percent higher efficiency and performance. SoC based on those new CPU and GPU IP will provide “laptop-class” performance, and the company also announced Arm Mali-V76 VPU with support for 8K video decoding and encoding. Arm Cortex A76 After Cortex A75, the Arm Cortex-A76 CPU is the second high performance processor core based on DynamIQ technology, and beside the 35 percent  performance gain mentioned in the introduction, it also offers 40 percent improved efficiency, as well as delivers 4x compute performance improvements for AI/ML at the edge. Highlights of Cortex A76: Architecture – Armv8-A (Harvard) with  Armv8.1, Armv8.2, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only),  cryptography and RAS extensions ISA support – A64; A32 and T32 (at the EL0 …

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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, …

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