SiFive RISC-V SoCs Can Now Be Paired With A GPU... Imagination's PowerVR
Written by Michael Larabel in RISC-V on 21 May 2019 at 07:32 AM EDT. 19 Comments
If you want a SiFive SoC for the royalty-free, open-source RISC-V architecture it's now possible to pair it with graphics. Unfortunately, the graphics option is about as far from open-source as possible.

SiFive announced last week that Imagination Technologies has joined their DesignShare ecosystem to open up PowerVR GPUs and neural network acceleration (NNA) IP cores for SiFive SoCs. SiFive talks up the PowerVR GPU as being Vulkan-capable and "the very best performance and flexibility." That flexibility, however, does not extend to open-source drivers. Sadly the PowerVR GPU open-source support remains virtually non-existent and hearing "PowerVR" still likely sends chills down your back from years ago when their graphics IP was more common and worrisome for Linux users.

It would have been more interesting if SiFive SoCs could feature say Vivante graphics IP where at least there is the open-source Etnaviv graphics driver stack that while OpenGL-only and limited at this point, at least it's open-source to jive with the principals of RISC-V.

More details in this press release.
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