1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Digging Deeper Into AMD's UVD Code Drop

AMD

Published on 03 April 2013 12:37 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
122 Comments

Yesterday it was exclusively announced on Phoronix that AMD was releasing open-source UVD code so that their open-source Linux graphics driver can finally benefit from GPU hardware-accelerated video playback. Here's some more details.

Now with the Linux kernel and Mesa/Gallium3D code having been published and having time to go through this code myself, after Fatima's article earlier, here's some more details. Of course, if you didn't already, first read AMD Releases Open-Source UVD Video Support for the overview.

- Aside from needing new Radeon DRM (to be found in the Linux 3.10 kernel) and updates to Gallium3D (to be found in the next Mesa release late in 2013), there's also new microcode required.

- From Alex Deucher's Radeon microcode repository, there's new _uvd microcode files as well as updated _rlc microcode files. These UVD microcode binary files are significantly larger in file-size than the other microcode files for the same GPU family. AMD is likely concealing a bunch within these microcode blobs, but NVIDIA is reportedly doing this through a similar method. Other open-source Linux drivers like WiFi adapters also commonly ship microcode/firmware blobs for key functionality, but at least it will continue to work with new kernels...

- "RUVD" is the Gallium3D "driver" that is common code to R600g and RadeonSI but not some entirely new GPU hardware driver. The Mesa changes to support UVD on the HD 4000 through HD 7000 series GPUs amount to around two thousand lines of new code in user-space.

- The kernel-side bring-up of AMD's Unified Video Decoder is also over a thousand lines of code to the Radeon DRM.

- Something from Bridgman: "We actually expected the next round of power management IP to get approved for release before UVD, but it didn't work out that way."

- Some integrated Radeon graphics parts with UVD aren't working on the open-source driver at the moment.

- Based upon copyrights on new files, it looks like AMD has been working on this open-source UVD support since at least 2011.

- The UVD support largely seems to be the work of Christian K├Ânig, one of AMD's hires for their open-source team two summers ago.

Tests of this open-source AMD UVD support exposed over VDPAU is forthcoming on Phoronix.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Khronos Group Announces Vulkan, OpenCL 2.1, SPIR-V
  2. Samsung 850 EVO SSD Linux Benchmarks
  3. Kubuntu 15.04 Is Turning Out Quite Nice, Good Way To Try Out The Latest KDE
  4. 5-Way Linux Distribution Comparison On The Core i3 NUC
  5. OCZ ARC 100 Linux SSD Benchmarks
  6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Works Great As A Linux Ultrabook
Latest Linux News
  1. A Brand New Linux Network Stack Proposed: Linux XIA
  2. Niche Drivers Get Ported To Atomic Mode-Setting For Linux 4.1
  3. openSUSE Tumbleweed Continues Ascending
  4. Open-Source SPIR-V Reader & Writer Written In Java
  5. LunarGLASS Adds Experimental SPIR-V Front-End
  6. The New Open-Source Linux Test Farm Is Almost Operational
  7. Samba 4.2 Brings Transparent File Compression & Clustering Support
  8. Mutter 3.15.91 Fixes Wayland Nested Compositor Mode, Pointer Constraining
  9. NVIDIA Opens Up CPU-Based PhysX Code
  10. SPIR-V In GCC Is Already Being Talked About
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Tremendous Features Of Fedora 22
  2. Confirmed: Vulkan Is The Next-Gen Graphics API
  3. Xfce 4.12 Released After Nearly Three Years Of Work
  4. 8cc: A Small C11 Compiler
  5. LLVM 3.6 & Clang 3.6 Deliver More Features, Complete C++14 Support
  6. Unreal Engine Made Free By Epic Games
  7. Canonical's Latest Demo Of Ubuntu Unity 8 Convergence In Action
  8. ALSA 1.0.29 Released