Imagination Technology is showing the VisionFive 2 on their stand at Embedded World 2023 In Nuremberg!
Please ask them about their GPU open source status.
Unfortunately, I’m not going to Nuremberg after all. I live 15 km north of Berlin and had hoped to get a fast train or bus connection to Nuremberg, or a flight if necessary.
It takes eight to nine hours by train for 160€-200€ or a bit cheaper by train and bus, but you have to change trains five times and then it takes about ten hours. Flying also takes about eight hours, as there are no direct flights, only flights with a change of planes and a stopover in Frankfurt. Nevertheless, the flights cost between 500€ and 1300€.
Then there’s the fact that if you don’t want to travel sixteen hours to get to the exhibition in two hours, you only have to travel to and from the exhibition well before it starts or ends. To travel cheaply and spend a whole day at the exhibition, I would have to spend 34-35 hours without a bed and several hours outside.
The alternative would be to hire a car, because it takes about five hours by car. But I didn’t get my driving licence until I was 56, which is also nine years ago and I haven’t driven once since then. Why should I drive a car? I’ve been riding my bike almost everywhere my whole life.
Somehow I remembered that this topic of “open source status” had been on the table at least once before.
Oh, now it comes back to me:
I did a search for “site:lore.kernel.org Imagination Technologies” and as expected they are working on GX6250, AXE-1-16M and BXS-4-64** GPU’s exactly like they said they would in their commitment to open source 2022-04-25.
My guess is that until these three are fully working and their current “still to do” list is empty there will be no (public) work on other open source GPU drivers, like the BXE-4-32 MC1 in the JH7110. But I suspect that a lot of the work that they are currently doing for those three GPU’s will be directly, or indirectly, applicable to the BXE-4-32 MC1 and will only help to accelerate the release of an open source driver for it.
** “It’s worth pointing out that this is a new driver, written from the ground up, rather than a refactored version of our existing downstream driver”
This new DRM driver supports: + GEM shmem allocations + dma-buf / PRIME + Per-context (device node open) userspace managed virtual address space + Implicit sync / reservation objects + DRM sync objects + Power management suspend / resume + Render job submission + Compute job submission + META firmware processor + MIPS firmware processor + Basic GPU hang recovery Still to do: - Transfer job submission (needed for Vulkan) - No-op job submission (needed for Vulkan) - Support RISC-V firmware processor - GPU hang detection - Handling for running out of parameter buffer space - DVFS
Last merge request was made a year ago.
Not necessarily targeted for the vf2 if I understood correctly.
Last commit was 3 weeks ago.
Last commit was 5 months ago.
As far as I can say, the three listed GPU are not using a RISC-V microcontroller and use either the old Imagination Technology’s META CPU or MIPS CPU so the fact that they plan to have support for RISC-V is more than encouraging about supporting other CPUs!, Though I’m not sure for the BXS, the AXE one is definitely a MIPS based firmware, and I suspect the old 6250 use a META CPU.
And that’s the echo I had from them, they are still working on the drivers, they had a delay, and from my understanding they were planning to support more than these 3 GPUs.
From their website:
However, we intend this to be the start of our open-source journey and we will be looking to fill the gap with other examples of our IP in due course.
I’m pretty sure these GPU were chosen either because that what they had at hand when they started the project and made sense to someone in the company to do that.
Anyway that’s in their interest to properly support the GPU in the VF2 if they really want to help the RV community.