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H.264 Continues To Be Worked On For Cedrus - Reverse-Engineered Allwinner Support

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  • H.264 Continues To Be Worked On For Cedrus - Reverse-Engineered Allwinner Support

    Phoronix: H.264 Continues To Be Worked On For Cedrus - Reverse-Engineered Allwinner Support

    While the crowd-funding campaign has long been used up for working on the Allwinner VPU support via reverse-engineering for the mainline Linux kernel, Bootlin continues advancing the "Cedrus" driver particularly in getting the H.264 decoding to work...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ideo-Decode-v6

  • #2
    Why doesn't Allwinner just opensource their graphic drivers? I doubt Apple, Samsung, nVidia or Intel are going to look at their code and go "WOW, we just have to copy this". Meanwhile, if they did have open-source drivers, their chips would be universally wanted by every single-board computer buyer.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
      Why doesn't Allwinner just opensource their graphic drivers? I doubt Apple, Samsung, nVidia or Intel are going to look at their code and go "WOW, we just have to copy this". Meanwhile, if they did have open-source drivers, their chips would be universally wanted by every single-board computer buyer.
      Take notice that no company in ARM business went full open source. The possible reason behind this driver mess is a fear of patent infringement lawsuits. I believe that market players understand benefits of OS drivers after AMD success but they still prefer to "rely" on reverse engineering enthusiasts to keep themselves low-profile.

      BTW is there any reason they chose VDPAU over VA-API? The former was developed by nVidia and already thrown in a window by them, while VA-API is a child of Intel and seems to be evolving over time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
        Why doesn't Allwinner just opensource their graphic drivers?
        Because they are using ARM graphics, so the code isn't theirs.
        I'll assume you were talking of the media accelerator driver.

        I doubt Apple, Samsung, nVidia or Intel are going to look at their code and go "WOW, we just have to copy this".
        Considering they DID steal software to make their media framework for the SDK, I'd assume the main risk is getting sued over legitimate theft or patent trolling.

        Also, do note that there are at least a couple other relatively big chinese competitors doing similar low-price hardware, plus lesser ones that are not known outside China. Those are very interested in stealing each other's technology and IP.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
          Why doesn't Allwinner just opensource their graphic drivers? I doubt Apple, Samsung, nVidia or Intel are going to look at their code and go "WOW, we just have to copy this". Meanwhile, if they did have open-source drivers, their chips would be universally wanted by every single-board computer buyer.
          I assume you talking about VPU driver? Graphics (GPU) driver has nothing to do with video decoding. Their VPU driver is actually open source from the beginning, but it's totally useless because it just exposes VPU registers to userspace. Community reverse engineered userspace binary which used that driver. However, Allwinner mostly open sourced that library too, but only after reverse engineering was finished for most popular codecs.

          BTW, having source doesn't automatically mean it's easy to use. Allwinner made completely custom interface for decoding, so even with the source, none of the popular players are capable of using it.

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          • #6
            I'm sure going full open source would release the smaller inner-workings of the clocks and open the possibility of disabling any hardware/software caps that are implemented for a possible same chip pricing model.

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            • #7
              The $149 PinePhone may be released by the end of the year with an A64 SOC. It will run mobile GNU/Linux OS's, and will have hardware kill switches for privacy. Any progress that can be made on the Cedrus project and the Lima project before then will be very valuable in regards to getting the PinePhone to run mostly without proprietary firmware or software.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
                Meanwhile, if they did have open-source drivers, their chips would be universally wanted by every single-board computer buyer.
                Not true. Allwinner isn't 100% rpi compatible. Users want to run standard RPI software. That is armv6 userspace. Arm64 code would run too fast. Same problem with lpddr4 memory or nvme/sata/emmc storage.

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                • #9
                  (duplicated)
                  Last edited by tuxd3v; 04-04-2019, 06:44 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by andyprough View Post
                    The $149 PinePhone may be released by the end of the year with an A64 SOC. It will run mobile GNU/Linux OS's, and will have hardware kill switches for privacy. Any progress that can be made on the Cedrus project and the Lima project before then will be very valuable in regards to getting the PinePhone to run mostly without proprietary firmware or software.
                    Nice news,
                    If it gets support for good Oses( Maemo Leste and others.. ), Lima + Cedrus, it would be nice..
                    The LCD his to big.. 5" would be ok..

                    This phone doesn't have:
                    • FM Radio: No
                    • NFC: No
                    I can live without NFC( better live without Bluetooth than NFC, but any way..)
                    I cannot live without FM Radio

                    FM radio is a must,
                    Maybe the chip supports it,( but the antenna pads needs to be physically connected with audio jack, so that the wire of the phones will serve has a antenna.. )
                    If they do that, its possible to develop a driver for Radio FM..

                    This was why Jolla failed to sell more phones, a simple Radio FM feature..amazing!

                    Then they launched the Jolla C( but in limited numbers, this one, had Radio FM,but limited in quantity)..
                    The Indian Company that developed the phone, launched it in the market, but here without GSM 20 band( which is widely used in Europe, and also because it operate at lower Frequencies, it works in places were other bands cannot.. ).

                    Then a Russian Company,
                    Solved the problem launching the Inor R7, pure Sailfish OS, but you can't buy it outside Russia..

                    So still today,
                    No alternative phones have Radio FM( Others than Jolla C or Inoi R7 ..those phones that you can't buy...lool ),
                    And that 's why I still have to use the Sh**ty Android..

                    I hope, for the better, they reconsider putting Radio FM in the phone, with antenna pads connected to 3.5" Jack( Jolla failed big here on their 1st phone..and they sunk ), even if no software exists at beginning it will drive, the rest of us, on that phone..
                    Last edited by tuxd3v; 04-04-2019, 07:10 PM.

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