Etnaviv NPU Driver Further Boosts Performance, Striking Closer To The Proprietary Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 9 February 2024 at 06:31 AM EST. 3 Comments
Merged for Mesa 24.1 is Teflon for Etnaviv NPU driver support in enabling reverse-engineered, open-source driver support for VeriSilicon NPU IP similar to the long-standing Etnaviv Gallium3D graphics support for Vivante graphics. Tomeu Vizoso who has been leading the work on the Etnaviv NPU support has managed to achieve another performance victory and taking the open-source driver performance closer to the proprietary driver.

Vizoso recently took to adding weight compression support to the driver so that consecutive zeroes within weight buffers can be compressed. With this compression support the MobileNetV1 performance improved from 15.7 to 9.9 ms and SSDLIte MobileDet went from 56.1 to 32.7 ms.

This slide from Tomeu Vizoso shows how the Etnaviv open-source NPU driver is closing in on the official proprietary driver:

Etnaviv NPU driver performance

It will be interesting to see if/when the Etnaviv driver can meet or exceed the performance of the proprietary driver. Vizoso is currently debating what to pursue next whether expanding the SoC support, working more on performance, or starting an entirely new driver for some other hardware. More details on this effort via Vizoso's blog.
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