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VC5 Gallium3D: A New Broadcom Open-Source Driver

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  • VC5 Gallium3D: A New Broadcom Open-Source Driver

    Phoronix: VC5 Gallium3D: A New Broadcom Open-Source Driver

    Eric Anholt has announced a new driver stack he's begun working on for Broadcom: VC5...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...dcom-Gallium3D

  • #2
    Highlights on this new chip, from what I could find:

    On the mailing list post:
    "half-precision float operations -- you can do twice as many add/sub/mul/min/maxes per cycle if you can pack them in the same register" -- great for ML/NN

    From https://www.dubainewspost.com/ibc-20...set-top-boxes/
    4K HDR seems to be supported. 4xWifi on the quad-core SOC is also mentioned.

    From the closest chip number I could find on Broadcom's website ( https://www.broadcom.com/products/br...op-box/bcm7251 ), we can make a number of guesses:

    h.265 looks supported (4K HDR), with two display outputs.

    28 nanometer (nm) process technology chip
    High-performance dual-core Brahma15 10000 DMIPs ARMv7 processors, 2180p60 or dual 1080p60 decode and transcode capabilities
    Integrates high-performance connectivity peripherals, such as USB 3.0, PCIe, Gigabit Ethernet and MoCA 2.0
    Latest generation security core offers the highest level of platform security, content protection and DRM robustness
    Industry-leading support for high-speed DDR3 and DDR4 devices
    Dedicated interfaces to a range of Broadcom companion front-end cable, DOCSISĀ®, satellite and 802.11ac Wi-Fi devices
    Keep in mind this is not the same chip, though. There might be some differences there. I am also ambivalent on the part about the security processor, but I suppose that's the way to go on ARM soc these days.

    Now, we are left to wonder: is there a small possibility that this SOC (or the same video core) will end up in a next generation raspberry pi? That would be nice, as this open driver is one of the key selling points (to me, at least), but the previous GPU wasn't extremely powerful).

    Sorry for the crap formatting, I wrote this on my phone.

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    • #3
      Good, Broadcom got the message finally. I'm really looking forward to the developments on this.

      It looks like more modern stuff, although it is just a quadcore and has a 100Mbit ethernet controller https://github.com/torvalds/linux/co...72344f0a355527

      Is a board from 96boards on the way perhaps?

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      • #4
        Nice, maybe we see a new PI sometime with this.

        Comment


        • #5
          I like this way that Broadcom is going, makes their chipsets a lot more attractive to me, and I'm sure to their set top box customers (who have to maintain these things well into the future).

          Comment


          • #6
            This sounds like an interesting candidate for Raspberry Pi 4 in 2019. I just hope the VC4 driver will continue to be developed further and maintained, as there are millions of devices depending on it. We're yet to see proper video acceleration out of the box on the Raspberry Pi.

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            • #7
              If this chip is 28nm it is unlikely to be the SoC for the next RPi.

              The RPi is produced on very tight budget, an SoC with many more features need more transistors which needs more wafer area which is the cost driver for chips like this.

              If it was a 14nm or 10nm or even made on some of the latest FDSOI processes that are coming out then you would have a lower cost/transistor and hence be able to have a more capable SoC for the RPi for the same cost.

              I think this is why it was said recently that SoC development for the RPi had hit a wall and the RPi 4 would take a couple years to come out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mbello View Post
                If this chip is 28nm it is unlikely to be the SoC for the next RPi.

                The RPi is produced on very tight budget, an SoC with many more features need more transistors which needs more wafer area which is the cost driver for chips like this.

                If it was a 14nm or 10nm or even made on some of the latest FDSOI processes that are coming out then you would have a lower cost/transistor and hence be able to have a more capable SoC for the RPi for the same cost.[...]
                Well first wafer area is not that expensive ($3 per square inch on more expensive/bigger wafers). Besides that all Raspberry Pis are on 40nm. I believe the cost per transistor should be the best on 28nm right now and not on 14/16nm or even 10nm. The production cost is growing fast with smaller processes nowadays.

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                • #9
                  Namenlos you are right, BCM2837 is 40nm and not 28nm as I had in mind. Then yes, this could be the new SoC for the RPi. Exciting news!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                    Highlights on this new chip, from what I could find:

                    From https://www.dubainewspost.com/ibc-20...set-top-boxes/
                    4K HDR seems to be supported. 4xWifi on the quad-core SOC is also mentioned.

                    From the closest chip number I could find on Broadcom's website ( https://www.broadcom.com/products/br...op-box/bcm7251 ), we can make a number of guesses:

                    h.265 looks supported (4K HDR), with two display outputs.
                    What about open video compression formats and codecs?
                    VP8, VP9 or even Theora?

                    Comment

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