Bootlin Wraps Up Project For Improving Allwinner VPU Support On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Multimedia on 1 September 2018 at 06:24 AM EDT. 1 Comment
The six-month internship at Bootlin that was crowd-funded for improving the Allwinner VPU support on Linux has drawn to a close with mostly achieving success.

The €31,612 (~$36,737 USD) raised for improving the Allwinner VPU support has been exhausted now but they mostly accomplished what they set out to do. They were successful in getting the codec working for older Allwinner SoCs including the A10/A13/A20/A33/R8/R16, improving the existing MPEG2 decoding code, implementing H.264 video decoding, improving the driver's presentation of presented frames, and working out H.265 video decoding support.

But areas they were not able to fully accomplish in time were providing a complete user-space library with easy integration into multimedia applications (they are using VA-API but so far only Kodi is working with their driver, integration with GStreamer is problematic), upstreaming the driver to the mainline kernel is still a work-in-progress, and they were not able to fully implement support for newer Allwinner SoCs like the H3/H5/A64.

While the project is officially over, they do intend to see it through to get the driver upstreamed in the Linux kernel with H264/H265 support, ensuring the DRM driver improvements are merged, and to get the VPU support in order for H5 and A64 SoCs. But for encoding support, handling other video codecs, GStreamer or Xorg integration, or extra H264/H265 features they do not plan on tackling unless other companies want to provide funding for that work.

The final weekly recap on this Allwinner Cedrus VPU driver work can be found at
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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