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  • Qualcomm Announces 64-bit Snapdragon Processors

    Phoronix: Qualcomm Announces 64-bit Snapdragon Processors

    Qualcomm announced this morning their next-generation 64-bit processors for what they hope yields "the ultimate connected mobile computing experiences" with a ton of new features and capabilities...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTY1Nzg

  • #2
    Quite off-topic, but could anyone help me on this?

    How exactly are drivers and gpu acceleration working in android? My device does have an Adreno 203, but there is _no_ application available that is capable to utilize this gpu to decode videos. Not even xbmc gotham.

    My testfiles are the common h.264+DTS inside mkv (720 and 1080p).

    Thanks in advance

    Comment


    • #3
      So just an ARM core repackaged by Qualcomm? Not like krait then?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by widardd View Post
        Quite off-topic, but could anyone help me on this?

        How exactly are drivers and gpu acceleration working in android? My device does have an Adreno 203, but there is _no_ application available that is capable to utilize this gpu to decode videos. Not even xbmc gotham.

        My testfiles are the common h.264+DTS inside mkv (720 and 1080p).

        Thanks in advance
        The GPU is not used to decode videos. There is a separate vidc thing for that. I've some notes about how it works on current devices:

        https://github.com/freedreno/freedre...o-Acceleration

        No idea if it is the same on your device.. which if it has an adreno 203 is I guess fairly old.

        Comment


        • #5
          Not that I have a problem with 64 bit ARM, but what exactly is the point for non-server purposes? The highest RAM content I've seen on a non-server ARM system was 2GB. Considering the simplicity of the architecture, I doubt there's going to be a significant performance improvement switching to 64 bit. I'd much rather see more plug'n'play features.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ferdinand View Post
            So just an ARM core repackaged by Qualcomm? Not like krait then?
            Lately, qualcomm has been using a lot of actual ARM cores on their chips. Up to now, they have been limited to low-end chips though.
            Thought krait was very nice, the main selling point for the snapdragon chips has and will continue to be the adreno GPUs.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
              Not that I have a problem with 64 bit ARM, but what exactly is the point for non-server purposes? The highest RAM content I've seen on a non-server ARM system was 2GB. Considering the simplicity of the architecture, I doubt there's going to be a significant performance improvement switching to 64 bit. I'd much rather see more plug'n'play features.
              The point is to unify the ARM platform under 64 bits NOW, and BEFORE it becomes essential.
              Also, the utility of 64 bit computing is not restricted to the server market. Many different kinds of workloads benefit from 64 bit, whether it is for memory addressing or otherwise.
              Now just think about the capabilities of current ARM hardware, like phones and tablets... they aren't nearly as limited-use as they used to be. You now have hdmi outputs, and the option of plugging in USB peripherals. The only thing really in the way of them becoming complete replacements for things like desktops and laptops, is the software that is available to run on them, which is partly restricted by the operating systems available for them.

              The limitations are falling away. Android now has the capability of PRINTING. Its a little bit clumsy at the moment, since the only way to interface it with a CUPS server is with a 3rd party plug-in, but it is getting better. Once you have that, a document editor, and a web browser, it can handle 99.999% of use-cases, which makes it quite practical as a replacement for laptop/desktop computers.

              As far as a document editor goes.... https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...andropenoffice
              Now I'm really not happy with that specific example, because the "author" basically just threw a bunch of open source libraries together with a little bit of android-glue, and is not offering source... but you can see that it is getting to the point where the common use-cases for real computer hardware is being very well fulfilled by portables.

              And that, of course, means that the ARM platform is about to gain a much greater demand by people looking for PRODUCTIVITY.


              Now there is one other reason for 64 bit; apple.
              Apple really didn't have any legitimate reason for it. They did it because "OMG 64bitz!!!! WOOCOOL!!!!!".
              And so it just has to be done for the sake of competition.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by robclark View Post
                The GPU is not used to decode videos. There is a separate vidc thing for that. I've some notes about how it works on current devices:

                https://github.com/freedreno/freedre...o-Acceleration

                No idea if it is the same on your device.. which if it has an adreno 203 is I guess fairly old.
                Actually my device entered the market dec 2013 (htc desire 500).

                What is a "vidc thing"? I'd like to know if a can stop testing software to get 720p working, and this is a hardware limitation.
                But that would surprise me seeing ugly, old Mali-400 chips being able to play 1080p.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                  Lately, qualcomm has been using a lot of actual ARM cores on their chips. Up to now, they have been limited to low-end chips though.
                  Thought krait was very nice, the main selling point for the snapdragon chips has and will continue to be the adreno GPUs.
                  Adreno GPUs have been historically non-competitive, until Adreno 320 and Adreno 330. But if the latest one, that's coming in H1 2015 is only 80 percent better, then it won't even beat Tegra K1 from this year.

                  Also, why does Qualcomm bother to license the ARM architecture if they're doing to use stock ARM anyway?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                    Not that I have a problem with 64 bit ARM, but what exactly is the point for non-server purposes? The highest RAM content I've seen on a non-server ARM system was 2GB. Considering the simplicity of the architecture, I doubt there's going to be a significant performance improvement switching to 64 bit. I'd much rather see more plug'n'play features.
                    64bits isn't just about accessing more ram, that's just ONE of the many advantages.

                    How about the 31 extra general purpose registers? The dedicated SP? The new instructions? NEON has access to double the amount of registers, now supports double precision floating point, has new instructions for encryption/decryption and SHA hashing.

                    Assuming that accessing more RAM is the only advantage of 64bit processors is one big mistake, and shows a big lack of understanding.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tundra View Post
                      64bits isn't just about accessing more ram, that's just ONE of the many advantages.

                      How about the 31 extra general purpose registers? The dedicated SP? The new instructions? NEON has access to double the amount of registers, now supports double precision floating point, has new instructions for encryption/decryption and SHA hashing.

                      Assuming that accessing more RAM is the only advantage of 64bit processors is one big mistake, and shows a big lack of understanding.
                      I wasn't assuming that accessing more RAM was the only advantage, and I wasn't implying it was either. I previously commented that I know there is a performance gain using 64 bit, which the memory itself has very little to do with. Also, many of the features you mentioned aren't dependent on a 64-bit architecture. Key word here is many, not all, so don't get all anal on me about that.

                      My point was that if you were to strictly just get the extra registers, I personally wouldn't consider the performance gain significant enough considering the broken compatibility and immense headache of porting everything. As far as I'm aware, AArch64 doesn't have compatibility with running a 32-bit OS, though I welcome being proven wrong.

                      I do understand the idea of doing doing this transition to 64 bit now before it becomes mandatory, but seriously, AArch64 should've been mainstreamed 4 years ago. I don't know enough about android to know how much it will be affected by this transition, but linux and Windows RT could suffer broken compatibility issues, particularly with closed-source software. It's already hard enough as it is trying to entice people to use ARM.
                      Last edited by schmidtbag; 04-07-2014, 03:09 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Krysto View Post
                        Adreno GPUs have been historically non-competitive, until Adreno 320 and Adreno 330. But if the latest one, that's coming in H1 2015 is only 80 percent better, then it won't even beat Tegra K1 from this year.

                        Also, why does Qualcomm bother to license the ARM architecture if they're doing to use stock ARM anyway?
                        Historically, Adreno has always been (and remains) the only mobile GPU to offer even the POTENTIAL for open source drivers. Further, the current adreno has ALWAYS been more than competitive against alternatives.

                        As far as comparing anything against "tegra"... thats just nvidia trash. The only thing they have in their favor is stronger marketing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                          Also, many of the features you mentioned aren't dependent on a 64-bit architecture.

                          As far as I'm aware, AArch64 doesn't have compatibility with running a 32-bit OS, though I welcome being proven wrong.
                          That's the thing, with each maker building its own ARM, they can add support for DIFFERENT extra things over the base, and as a software developer you can't support a lot of different CPU models. The 64bits ARM adds many useful things to the BASE model. They can still add things, but the common shared base is BETTER (there is an option to REMOVE things for custom designs, but that's less common).

                          AArch64 provides user-space compatibility with ARMv7-A ISA, the 32-bit architecture, referred to as "AArch32" and the old 32-bit instruction set. It's similar to how AMD64 can run 32bit software on a 64bit kernel.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                            I wasn't assuming that accessing more RAM was the only advantage, and I wasn't implying it was either. I previously commented that I know there is a performance gain using 64 bit, which the memory itself has very little to do with. Also, many of the features you mentioned aren't dependent on a 64-bit architecture. Key word here is many, not all, so don't get all anal on me about that.

                            My point was that if you were to strictly just get the extra registers, I personally wouldn't consider the performance gain significant enough considering the broken compatibility and immense headache of porting everything. As far as I'm aware, AArch64 doesn't have compatibility with running a 32-bit OS, though I welcome being proven wrong.

                            I do understand the idea of doing doing this transition to 64 bit now before it becomes mandatory, but seriously, AArch64 should've been mainstreamed 4 years ago. I don't know enough about android to know how much it will be affected by this transition, but linux and Windows RT could suffer broken compatibility issues, particularly with closed-source software. It's already hard enough as it is trying to entice people to use ARM.
                            I'm not familiar enough with the differences between arm and 64bit arm to know if backwards compatibility will be an issue or not, but I can say for certain that Android *itself* will not be a problem (being open source), nor the MAJORITY of Android applications, which don't actually have any native code -- therein lies *the* advantage of Java over C. Android is probably the LEAST stressful platform to build for alternative CPU architectures.

                            Edit... post above me says that arm64 can run arm32 code straight up. Makes the transition trivial and absolute.

                            HOWEVER, obviously 64bit arm code won't run on a 32bit arm chip. The sooner this transition happens, the less impact it will have on older devices.
                            Last edited by droidhacker; 04-07-2014, 03:41 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                              Lately, qualcomm has been using a lot of actual ARM cores on their chips. Up to now, they have been limited to low-end chips though.
                              Thought krait was very nice, the main selling point for the snapdragon chips has and will continue to be the adreno GPUs.
                              mostly marketing for certain markets.. especially w/ the cortex-a53 stuff (which isn't going to be as fast as current 32b krait)

                              a57, maybe we start seeing some of the benefits of some of the improvements thanks to armv8 instruction set.

                              Comment

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