HEVC/H.265 Video Decode Is Present In VDPAU For AMDGPU

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 8 August 2015 at 09:03 AM EDT. 33 Comments
Recently there was a question by a Phoronix reader whether H.265/HEVC GPU-based video decode would be supported by the new AMDGPU driver stack on supported hardware. There is indeed the support in place with the latest Git of the open-source AMD Linux driver code.

While the AMDGPU enablement for Mesa hasn't yet been merged into mainline, within Alex Deucher's AMDGPU Mesa branch is indeed HEVC support for the Gallium3D VDPAU state tracker. HEVC hardware video decoding was added for AMD's Tonga, Iceland, and Carrizo hardware. Only hardware (that supported by RadeonSI, etc) cannot make use of the new HEVC code.

Developers are hoping to mainline the AMDGPU code in time for Mesa 11.0. The libdrm changes were merged while the Mesa-side of the work was not, which includes this H.265/HEVC support as well as the open-source Fury/Fiji support being part of this Mesa branch. On the kernel side the initial support is present in Linux 4.2 but doesn't support the R9 Fury GPUs there and also lacks power management support for the dedicated GPUs. More details in The New AMD GPU Open-Source Driver On Linux 4.2 Works, But Still A Lot Of Work Ahead.

While it's nice to have H.265/HEVC UVD with the latest GPUs on the open-source driver, it's a pity that AMD still hasn't incorporated VP9 encode/decode into their chips.
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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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