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Graphics/Benchmarks

Intel SoC, Mesa Driver, and Quad Core Cortex-A35

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Linux Begins Preparing For Intel's New "Lightning Mountain" SoC

    Linux kernel development activity has shown light on a new Intel SoC we haven't anything about to date... Lightning Mountain. 

    We haven't seen Intel Lightning Mountain referenced elsewhere yet but in our original monitoring of the various Linux kernel patch flow, this is a new Atom SoC on the way. 

  • ARB_gl_spirv and ARB_spirv_extension support for i965 landed Mesa master

    And something more visible thanks to that: now the Intel Mesa driver exposes OpenGL 4.6 support, the most recent version of OpenGL.

    As perhaps you could recall, the i965 Intel driver became 4.6 conformant last year. You have more details about that, and what being conformant means in this Iago blog post. On that blog post Iago mentioned that it was passing with an early version of the ARB_gl_spirv support, that we were improving and interating during this time so it could be included on Mesa master. At the same time, the CTS tests were only testing the specifics of the extensions, and we wanted a more detailed testing, so we also were adding more tests on the piglit test suite, written manually for ARB_gl_spirv or translated from existing GLSL tests.

  • Compulab CL-SOM-iMX8X SoM & SBC Feature NXP i.MX 8QuadXPlus Quad Core Cortex-A35 Processor

    NXP i.MX 8X Cortex-A35 processor designed for automotive infotainment and a variety of industrial applications was officially announced in early 2017...

Intel's New OpenGL Driver Is Looking Really Great With The Upcoming Mesa 19.2

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Intel's new open-source OpenGL Linux driver "Iris" Gallium3D that has been in development for the past two years or so is getting ready to enter the limelight. Months ago they talked of plans to have it ready to become their default OpenGL driver by the end of the calendar year and with the state of Mesa 19.2 it's looking like that goal can be realized in time. With our new tests of this driver, in most games and other graphics applications the performance of this Gallium3D driver is now beyond that of their "classic" i965 Mesa driver.

Over the past year we've been looking a lot at the Intel Gallium3D performance and it's been a remarkable journey from the performance starting out well below their decade old OpenGL driver to now mostly exceeding that classic Mesa driver and often times by wide margins. The Intel Gallium3D driver is also largely now to feature parity in terms of OpenGL extensions and other capabilities. With all of their bases covered, this summer for the upcoming Mesa 19.2 release we've been seeing a lot of performance optimizations land. Back in April is when they indicated they hope to have it become the default by end of year 2019 and viable by Mesa 19.2.

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Graphics: AMD Publishes New RDNA Whitepaper and Mesa 19.2.0 RC1

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD Publishes New RDNA Whitepaper

    AMD's new RDNA whitepaper goes into detail explaining the efficiency and programming optimizations of this new design while retaining backwards compatibility with the GCN architecture. The 25-page read also covers True Audio Next, the Radeon Multimedia/Display Engines, caches, SIMD units, and other modern bits to these new Radeon graphics processors.

  • mesa 19.2.0-rc1
    The first release candidate for Mesa 19.2.0 is now available.
    
    The plan is to have one release candidate every Tuesday, until the
    anticipated final release on 10th September 2019.
    
    The expectation is that the 19.1 branch will remain alive with bi-weekly
    releases until the 19.2.1 release.
    
    In the path to 19.2.0 release, there is a tracker bug for the
    regressions found since 19.1:
    https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=111444
    
    Here are the people which helped shape the current release.
    
  • Mesa 19.2-RC1 Released But Intel Still Looking To Add OpenGL 4.6 Support

    Yesterday we shared that Mesa 19.2's release process would finally be getting underway with the first release candidate expected today following the code branching. Sure enough, that process began but now prominent Intel open-source graphics developer Jason Ekstrand is looking to get the OpenGL 4.6 support into this release.

    Mesa 19.2 release manager Emil Velikov branched the Mesa 19.2 code from master this evening followed by creating the first release candidate. Mesa 19.2-rc1 is now available and the plan is to issue new release candidates every week until the official release is ready to ship. Assuming they close their blocker bugs on time, the hope is to officially release Mesa 19.2.0 on 10 September.

Graphics: Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze and Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze / Release Candidate Process Beginning Tomorrow

    Mesa 19.2 was supposed to be branched marking its feature freeze two weeks ago on 6 August along with the issuing of the first release candidate. That milestone has yet to be crossed but should happen tomorrow.

    Mesa 19.2 development dragged on for the extra two weeks to allow some extra features to land. Those extra features were metrics/counters support for Intel Iris Gallium3D, CCS_E modifier support, and slice/sub-slice hashing optimizations for Intel -- a big performance win. Now that those blockers have landed, the release process is expected to get underway on Tuesday.

  • Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi
    This patchset enables Display Stream Compression (DSC) on DP 
    connectors on Navi ASICs, both SST and DSC.
    
    8k60 and 4k144 support requires ODM combine, an AMD internal
    feature that may be a bit buggy right now.
    
    Patches 1 through 5 enable DSC for SST. Most of the work was
    already done in the Navi promotion patches; this just hooks
    it up to the atomic interface. The first two reverts are of temporary
    changes to block off DSC. The third is of a commit that was
    accidentally promoted twice. The fourth and last revert fixes a 
    potential issue with ODM combine.
    
    Patches 6 and 7 are fixes for bugs that would be exposed by 
    MST DSC. One fix is with the MST code and the other in the DSC code.
    
    Patches 8, 9, and 10 are small DRM changes required for DSC MST:
    FEC, a new bit in the standard; some export definitions; and
    a previously uninitialized variable.
    
    Patches 11 through 14 are the DSC MST policy itself. This includes
    the code for detecting and validating DSC capabilities, enabling
    DSC over a link, computing the fair DSC configurations for
    multiple DSC displays, and adding to atomic state crtcs that might 
    need reprogramming due to DSC.
    
  • AMD Posts Navi Display Stream Compression Support For Linux

    One of the kernel-side features not yet in place for AMD's newest Navi graphics processors on Linux has been Display Stream Compression support but that is being squared away with a new patch series.

    Fourteen patches posted today adding more than six hundred lines of code to the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver enable Display Stream Compression support for DisplayPort connectors on Navi GPUs. VESA's Display Stream Compression is for low-latency lossless compression performance for power-savings and higher resolution/refresh-rates based on bandwidth and enabling the likes of DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST) technology.

POWER9 & ARM Performance Against Intel Xeon Cascadelake + AMD EPYC Rome

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Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering how ARM and IBM POWER hardware stack up against AMD's new EPYC "Rome" processors and that of Intel's existing Xeon "Cascade Lake" processors, here is a round of tests from the POWER9 Talos II, Ampere eMAG, and Cavium ThunderX in looking at the cross-architecture Linux CPU performance currently in the server space.

Our AMD EPYC Rome benchmarks this month have been focused on the performance compared to earlier AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors, but given the broader architecture support on Linux and there also being significant interest in the likes of IBM POWER / OpenPOWER thanks to more open-source designs when paired with motherboards from Raptor Computing Systems, here are some initial numbers for ARM and POWER9 performance against the new x86_64 server CPUs.

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NetBSD Sees Its First Wayland Application Running

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Graphics/Benchmarks
BSD

Wayland support is inching ahead on NetBSD for this secure, modern next-generation successor to running an X.Org Server.

NetBSD has seen a lot of interesting developments this year on the desktop front from DRM graphics driver improvements to better Wine support and now the first Wayland bits are proving successful on this BSD operating system.

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Cool, but obscure X11 tools

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Software

A small collection of tools for the X Window System. For cool terminal tools, see Kristof Kovacs’ Cool, but obscure Unix tools. All applications have been tested on FreeBSD but should run on other Unix-like operating systems as well. This page is still work in progress …

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AMD Ryzen 5 3600X Linux Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Now that the new AMD Ryzen 3000 series are running great with the latest Linux distributions following prominent motherboard vendors issuing BIOS updates that correct the "RdRand" issue, we're moving on with looking at the performance of the rest of the Ryzen 3000 series line-up while having freshly re-tested the processors under Ubuntu 19.04. Up for exploration today is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, the six-core / 12-thread processor retailing for about $250 USD.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600X has 6-cores / 12-threads while having a 3.8GHz base frequency and 4.4GHz maximum boost frequency. This CPU has a 95 Watt TDP, 32MB L3 cache, and other features in line with the rest of the Zen 2 family. AMD bundles the Ryzen 5 3600X retail CPU with their Wraith Spire cooler.

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Intel Tries Again To Auto Enable GuC/HuC Functionality For Their Linux Graphics Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Intel previously tried auto-enabling GuC and HuC functionality within their Linux kernel graphics driver but ended up reverting the support since the driver didn't gracefully handle the scenarios of missing/corrupt firmware files. The driver should now be more robust in such situations so they will try again for turning on the automatic behavior, possibly for the upcoming Linux 5.4 cycle.

Intel GuC and HuC have been around since Skylake and used for graphics workload scheduling, some power management bits, and for select media capabilities. For newer hardware is also being used as part of HEVC/H.265 handling.

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Network transparency with Wayland: Final report.

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The goal of this 2019 Google Summer of Code project is to develop a tool with which to transparently proxy applications that use the Wayland protocol to be displayed by compositors. Unlike the original X protocol, only part of the data needed to display an application is transferred over the application's connection to the compositor; instead, large information transfers are made by sharing file descriptors over the (Unix socket) connection, and updating the resources associated with the file descriptors. Converting this side channel information to something that can be sent over a single data stream is the core of this work.

The proxy program I have developed for the project is called Waypipe. It can currently be found at gitlab.freedesktop.org/mstoeckl/waypipe. (I am currently looking for a better stable path at which to place the project; the preceding URL will be updated once this is done.) A few distributions have already packaged the program; see here; alternatively, to build and run the project, follow the instructions in the README and the man page. My work is clearly identified by the commit logs, and amounts to roughly ten thousand lines of C code, and a few hundred of Python.

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Also: Vulkan 1.1.120 Released As The Newest Maintenance Release

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Android Leftovers

Intel SoC, Mesa Driver, and Quad Core Cortex-A35

  • Linux Begins Preparing For Intel's New "Lightning Mountain" SoC

    Linux kernel development activity has shown light on a new Intel SoC we haven't anything about to date... Lightning Mountain.  We haven't seen Intel Lightning Mountain referenced elsewhere yet but in our original monitoring of the various Linux kernel patch flow, this is a new Atom SoC on the way. 

  • ARB_gl_spirv and ARB_spirv_extension support for i965 landed Mesa master

    And something more visible thanks to that: now the Intel Mesa driver exposes OpenGL 4.6 support, the most recent version of OpenGL. As perhaps you could recall, the i965 Intel driver became 4.6 conformant last year. You have more details about that, and what being conformant means in this Iago blog post. On that blog post Iago mentioned that it was passing with an early version of the ARB_gl_spirv support, that we were improving and interating during this time so it could be included on Mesa master. At the same time, the CTS tests were only testing the specifics of the extensions, and we wanted a more detailed testing, so we also were adding more tests on the piglit test suite, written manually for ARB_gl_spirv or translated from existing GLSL tests.

  • Compulab CL-SOM-iMX8X SoM & SBC Feature NXP i.MX 8QuadXPlus Quad Core Cortex-A35 Processor

    NXP i.MX 8X Cortex-A35 processor designed for automotive infotainment and a variety of industrial applications was officially announced in early 2017...

Red Hat/Fedora: Flock’19 Budapest, Cockpit 201 and Systemd 243 RC2

  • Flock’19 Budapest

    This was the first occurrence of the conference for me to attend. Its an annual Fedora Community gathering, which happens in a new city of Europe every year. This time it was in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, last year it was hosted in Dresden. Dates for the same were: 8th Aug through 11th Aug 2019. Also I got an opportunity to present there on my proposal: “Getting Started with Fedora QA”. Day 1 Started with a Keynote by Mathew Miller (mattdm). In here he spoke about where we as a community are and where we need to go further. It was a knowledgeable discussion for a first timer like me who was always looking out for the Vision and Mission of Fedora community. There are people who are with Fedora since its first release and you get to meet them here at the annual gathering. [...] Groups were formed and people decided for themselves where they wanted to go for the evening hangout on the Day 1. We were 7 people who decided to hangout at the Atmosphere Klub near the V.Kerulet and left at around 9:00 pm by walk. Day 2 started with a keynote by Denise Dumas, Vice President, Operating System Platform, Red Hat. She spoke on “Fedora, Red Hat and IBM”. I woke up late, 20 minutes before the first session as I went to bed late last night and had walked for around 11 kms the day before.

  • Fedora 30 : Set up the Linux Malware Detect.
  • Cockpit 201

    It’s now again possible to stop a service, without disabling it. Reloading is now available only when the service allows it. Furthermore, disabling or masking a service removes any lingering “failed” state, reducing noise.

  • Systemd 243 RC2 Released

    Released nearly one month ago was the systemd 243 release candidate while the official update has yet to materialize. It looks though like it may be on the horizon with a second release candidate being posted today. Red Hat's Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek has just tagged systemd 243-RC2 as the newest test release for this new version of this de facto Linux init system. Over the past month have been new hardware database (HWDB) additions, various fixes, new network settings, resolvectl zsh shell completion support, bumping timedated to always run at the highest priority, and other changes.

Announcing Qt for MCUs

  • Announcing Qt for MCUs

    Today we announce the launch of Qt for MCUs – a comprehensive toolkit to deliver smartphone-like user experience on displays powered by microcontrollers. What started as a research project is now in the final leg of its journey to being released as a product. Connected devices found in vehicles, wearables, smart home, industrial and healthcare often have requirements that include real-time processing capabilities, low power consumption, instant boot time and low bill of materials. These requirements can be fulfilled by a microcontroller architecture. However, as devices get smarter and offer more features and capabilities, users expect an enhanced and intuitive experience on par with today’s smartphones. Qt for MCUs delivers an immersive and enriching user interface by utilizing a new runtime specifically developed for ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers and leveraging on-chip 2D graphics accelerators such as PxP on NXP’s i.MX RT series, Chrom-Art Accelerator on STM32 series and RGL on Renesas RH850.

  • Qt for MCUs – Qt Announces support for Microcontrollers

    About Qt for MCUs Qt- The well known opensource toolkit for creating graphical interface announced their new release: Qt for MCUs, targeting MCU’s.

  • The Qt Company Is Now Working On Qt For Microcontrollers

    There have been a lot of announcements pertaining to Qt as of late, most of which have been about forthcoming efforts around Qt 6 development. A new announcement out of The Qt Company catching us off-guard is their plans for the tool-kit on micro-controllers. Qt for MCUs is the company's newest commercial endeavour. In particular, they are working on the Qt tool-kit for displays powered by micro-controllers for smartphone-like user experiences. Qt for MCUs has been a research project at the company but is now being worked out as a new commercial offering. Considering how well though Qt works on mobile devices, it's only another step down catering it to low-power micro-controllers.