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BCM2711 / Raspberry Pi 4 Support Still Being Worked On For Open-Source Display Driver

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  • BCM2711 / Raspberry Pi 4 Support Still Being Worked On For Open-Source Display Driver

    Phoronix: BCM2711 / Raspberry Pi 4 Support Still Being Worked On For Open-Source Display Driver

    With the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel merge window one of the features you still won't find in the mainline kernel is the VC4 DRM kernel driver supporting the Broadcom BCM2711 SoC and in turn the Raspberry Pi 4 open-source graphics/display support...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...2711-Still-WIP

  • #2
    I think it's important to note that this is just about ARM-side support for *display outputs*. The VC4/V3D driver has been mainline for quite a while. You can still use the VideoCore-based display implementation (fkms). In fact that is still the default on Raspbian.

    In other news, they actually released a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8 GB of RAM today.

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    • #3
      I want to get something clarified. As far as I know, at least up till RPi3, the GPU was booted up first with a proprietary blob OS which then brings up whatever's in the SD card. Does that still apply to RPi4?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by oxwivi View Post
        I want to get something clarified. As far as I know, at least up till RPi3, the GPU was booted up first with a proprietary blob OS which then brings up whatever's in the SD card. Does that still apply to RPi4?
        Yes, the VideoCore still exists. But please stop calling it a GPU, it's basically a general-purpose DSP.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by brent View Post
          In other news, they actually released a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8 GB of RAM today.
          I saw that earlier today. That is a little crazy. Now my 2 main PCs have the same RAM as a RPi ...

          If the pandemic hadn't fired up the Dollar value so high, hitting hard hardware prices at my neck of the woods, I probably had upgraded to a 16GB RAM Ryzen based system by now. The good news is that now I can dream of a B550 ITX mobo and a 6 or 8 core APU next year, when prices will be more reasonable.

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          • #6
            Is VC4 the correct name being used by Michael in the article? Isn't VC4 the driver for the GPU (sorry brent) for the Raspberry 3 and lower, whereas V3D is the driver for the much more capable Raspberry 4 GPU?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SteamPunker View Post
              Is VC4 the correct name being used by Michael in the article? Isn't VC4 the driver for the GPU (sorry brent) for the Raspberry 3 and lower, whereas V3D is the driver for the much more capable Raspberry 4 GPU?
              VC4 is GPU driver
              V3D is display driver (DRM)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SteamPunker View Post
                Is VC4 the correct name being used by Michael in the article? Isn't VC4 the driver for the GPU (sorry brent) for the Raspberry 3 and lower, whereas V3D is the driver for the much more capable Raspberry 4 GPU?
                "[PATCH v3 000/105] drm/vc4: Support BCM2711 Display Pipeline"
                Michael Larabel
                http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                • #9
                  AFAICT the terminology is as follows:

                  vc4: the kernel driver for all generations of VideoCores
                  vc4: ...and the same name is, confusingly, used for the Mesa driver of VideoCore 4
                  v3d: the Mesa driver for VideoCore 5/6

                  So yeah this is slightly messy. What's even more confusing is, as I pointed out, that the VideoCore isn't actually comparable to a regular GPU. First and foremost, It's a general purpose vector DSP. In addition to that, there are other blocks like the 3D engine. The "vc4" and "vc6" drivers DO NOT actually use the vector DSP. They only talk to the 3D engine (and with the proposed changes, the display engine), which is separate from the VideoCore DSP.

                  Raspberry Pi developers are trying to move more and more functionality from VideoCore DSP to the ARM cores (display handling is an important step in that direction), let's hope they'll be able to drop the DSP completely with the next gen. The VideoCore DSP is old and slow, so it doesn't make much sense to keep it around anyway.
                  Last edited by brent; 05-28-2020, 09:10 AM.

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