VP9 Encoder & Other Media Functionality Of Tesla's FSD Chip To Be Upstreamed In Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 May 2022 at 02:20 PM EDT. 22 Comments
With the Linux 5.18 kernel reaching stable in the next week or two there is basic support for Tesla's FSD chip. That Samsung-based SoC for powering Tesla's full-self driving technology has the basic support pieces in place for this kernel while Samsung engineers are working on ironing out other portions of the SoC support for future kernel releases.

The newest work by Samsung engineers for upstreaming the Tesla FSD chip support inside the mainline Linux kernel is handling the MFC intellectual property. MFC in this context is for Samsung's Multi-Format Codec as its video/imaging encode and decode block. Under Linux the Samsung MFC is supported by a V4L2 driver that supports various generations of Exynos SoCs.

The patch series sent out this morning is for enabling Samsung MFC v12 support, which they note right away as being "MFC v12 is used in Tesla FSD SoC."


With this multi-format codec in the Tesla FSD SoC the kernel patches enable support for the VP9 video encoder, YV12 and I420 formats, rate control / UHD / DMA-BUF encoder handling, DPB buffer allocation, and various other changes. This is the first Samsung MFC version seeing VP9 encode capabilities.

See this kernel patch series if interested in the Samsung MFC support for the Tesla FSD SoC with the mainline Linux kernel.

Meanwhile queued up so far ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.19 merge window are also a few DeviceTree updates for the Tesla FSD support. Presumably Samsung is working on getting these various elements upstreamed into the kernel to reduce their maintenance burden for later on should Tesla find reason or want to re-base their software stack atop a newer Linux LTS kernel. This will also mean carrying a smaller patch delta against upstream with possible future iterations of the FSD chip.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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