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Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - Printable Version

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RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - ProsjektX - 2012-07-19

Why spend too much time on Allwinner then..? There's a lot of different capable ARM SOCs out there, and a lot of very interesting products in the pipe, like the Freescale i.MX6 series (Q3/Q4). Starting at around $11 for a single core cortex A9 @ 1GHz up to dual and quad cores at 1.2GHz with a very capable VPU and GPU. The support and quality of drivers I assume should be better.

And what kind of track record does Allwinner have when it comes to availability? That device is meant for quick changing consumer devices. Is it still here in a year or two even..? And what about getting hold of it? Only for large volume oems probably. What guarantees do the community have that their time spent on the Allwinner will be of much use next year..?

ARM socs have only recently gained enough power and cost at a level making them interesting for other applications than cell phones etc, and we're only seeing the start of it. In 2013 we will see 2GHz quad core A15s... Then we start talking


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - davilla - 2012-07-19

And make sure that the VPU side includes the codec licensing or it is useless Smile One issue we have with iOS is while Apple uses IMG tech VPU/GPUs on their arm devices, they only permit h264 decode and do not expose mpeg2/vc1/etc decoding that the IMG tech hw is very capable of doing. Apple does not license these codecs and so does not expose them.

Others might skip the licensing step but no sane company would ever sell such a product, the liability is just too great and MPEG-LA will eat them for breakfast eventually.


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - oliv3r - 2012-07-19

So licensing would be the real reason why they would never open up programming documentation to their core's you recon? I wonder how much of that core is actually decoding video and how much is assisting on such task.

E.g. you feed a h264 bitstream to libcedarx, does it do some small householding and feed the entire bitstream to the VPU? Unlikely. More logical and plausible is that libcedarx does some bits of the decoding and passes several steps of the decoding onto the VPU. And that's where the licensing issues come into play then, right? So releasing programming documentation allows ffmpeg/libavcodec etc to hook into the VPU and bypassing any licensing issues. Right?

Also, if licensing is such a huge issue, how has broadcom bypassed this? A bcm970012 can be had for 11 USD from Ebay ... Their libraries would be thus tainted with 'warning licensing problems'?

As for Mali, yes, libGL.so etc are supplied by arm/mali/whoknows who. Much preferred however is to have this opensource, hence where the limaproject comes in Smile


Re: RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - bornagainpengui - 2012-07-19

(2012-07-19, 14:06)davilla Wrote: Others might skip the licensing step but no sane company would ever sell such a product, the liability is just too great and MPEG-LA will eat them for breakfast eventually.

China to the rescue?


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - j1nx - 2012-07-19

(2012-07-19, 13:53)ProsjektX Wrote: Why spend too much time on Allwinner then..? There's a lot of different capable ARM SOCs out there, and a lot of very interesting products in the pipe, like the Freescale i.MX6 series (Q3/Q4). Starting at around $11 for a single core cortex A9 @ 1GHz up to dual and quad cores at 1.2GHz with a very capable VPU and GPU. The support and quality of drivers I assume should be better.

Like Davilla stated, the GPU is not the real problem. The people of ARM and Allwinner are looking into the reason why the X11 GLES is not working and that will be sorted out shortly. But once again we are talking about the VPU that we want to have better support for, not the CPU and GPU.

With Pivos; CPU and GPU support was there, but what really pushed the deal was supporting the hardware video decoder in combination with their libraries.

Look at Broadcom; They appeared to finally see the power of the opensource communities with their fun project "Raspberry-Pi" and are about to open up their GPU sources. And broadcom integrated the VPU in their GPU, Allwinner uses a different chip inside the SoC.




RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - oliv3r - 2012-07-19

(2012-07-19, 16:07)j1nx Wrote:
(2012-07-19, 13:53)ProsjektX Wrote: Why spend too much time on Allwinner then..? There's a lot of different capable ARM SOCs out there, and a lot of very interesting products in the pipe, like the Freescale i.MX6 series (Q3/Q4). Starting at around $11 for a single core cortex A9 @ 1GHz up to dual and quad cores at 1.2GHz with a very capable VPU and GPU. The support and quality of drivers I assume should be better.

Like Davilla stated, the GPU is not the real problem. The people of ARM and Allwinner are looking into the reason why the X11 GLES is not working and that will be sorted out shortly. But once again we are talking about the VPU that we want to have better support for, not the CPU and GPU.

With Pivos; CPU and GPU support was there, but what really pushed the deal was supporting the hardware video decoder in combination with their libraries.

Look at Broadcom; They appeared to finally see the power of the opensource communities with their fun project "Raspberry-Pi" and are about to open up their GPU sources. And broadcom integrated the VPU in their GPU, Allwinner uses a different chip inside the SoC.

Broadcom is opening up Sources for the R-Pi? Last time I read, they dind't want to do that just yet. Got more info? As for the BCM 970012, except for the firmware, it is completly opensource!





RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - davilla - 2012-07-19

@oliv3r, I doubt it, you can't really break up decoding like that. well you 'could' but you are insane if you do.
broadcom did not bypass anything, they paid for the license and that cost is included in the purchase price. the key was volume, broadcom made a boatload of chd's. And yes, completly opensource for BCM 970012/15 kernel (GPLv2) and userland (LGPLv2).

limaproject might eventually reach the level of what arm gives the vendor to make those libs. In about 3-5 years.

@j1nx, their 1st problem is even dealing with X11 in the first place... Smile You want a desktop arm or embedded arm ? 99 percent of users want to boot right into XBMC and that means embedded.


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - ykhehra1 - 2012-07-19

I think allwinner should contact gimli on 1st place, as they are the one who will make money.
(2012-07-19, 10:30)gimli Wrote: As requested by Allwinner i wrote them again, no anwser till now.




RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - j1nx - 2012-07-19

(2012-07-19, 17:05)davilla Wrote: @j1nx, their 1st problem is even dealing with X11 in the first place... Smile You want a desktop arm or embedded arm ? 99 percent of users want to boot right into XBMC and that means embedded.


I know, was just to state that we want support for the VPU not really the GPU. The GPU support is something completely different which we don even need as we already have accelerated FB.

Although they can't even get that right. It requires dedicated employees of Allwinner who on their own account donate Mele hardware to people within ARM to get it properly sorted out Big Grin


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - tastypotato - 2012-07-19

(2012-07-19, 19:12)j1nx Wrote: I know, was just to state that we want support for the VPU not really the GPU. The GPU support is something completely different which we don even need as we already have accelerated FB.

Although they can't even get that right. It requires dedicated employees of Allwinner who on their own account donate Mele hardware to people within ARM to get it properly sorted out Big Grin

Well if the Mele devices that we bought are essentially going to be pointless without XBMC (The ONLY reason I bought one) then I might be willing to donate/loan mine out to see some progress. I really wish I could help with this whole situation but I honestly stopped knowing what everyone was talking about 68 pages ago. Tongue

I have been following the A10-netbook mailing list, but it doesn't seem that their focus is XBMC (Or I'm reading stuff wrong..) anymore.


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - oliv3r - 2012-07-20

(2012-07-19, 17:05)davilla Wrote: @oliv3r, I doubt it, you can't really break up decoding like that. well you 'could' but you are insane if you do.
broadcom did not bypass anything, they paid for the license and that cost is included in the purchase price. the key was volume, broadcom made a boatload of chd's. And yes, completly opensource for BCM 970012/15 kernel (GPLv2) and userland (LGPLv2).

limaproject might eventually reach the level of what arm gives the vendor to make those libs. In about 3-5 years.

@j1nx, their 1st problem is even dealing with X11 in the first place... Smile You want a desktop arm or embedded arm ? 99 percent of users want to boot right into XBMC and that means embedded.

Not so sure if it is THAT insane :p

Looking at a very simple example, JPEG, there is a few very distinct things that happen. Splitting into blocks of 8x8, perform DCT, perform some compression.

Splitting of the blocks you do in your driver, creating nice blocks that can be fed to your GPU/VPU. DCT you run through your shaders for example and when that is done, another pair of shaders does the compression. The DCT and Compression bits can be two seperate function initiated by the driver. The data would have to be stored somewhere on your GPU/VPU obviously, you don't want to pump all data in and out constantly. Having these two functions, you can also do other computations that also use DCT and the same compression.

This would technically allow you to reuse your hardware for different codecs and the frontend library, that can be updated (opposite of the silicon that would do the DCT and compression).

Isn't that basically what XvMC did for years, albeit badly supported by drivers Sad

I know h264 is completely a different beast from jpeg, but if XvMC did it for mpeg2, it shouldn't be entirely impossible. Heck, I even recall reading that they trying to use XvMC on one of the newer codecs (may even be h264) to 'accelerate' decoding of this.

Anyway, all this doesn't matter in the end, if the VPU actually does the whole thing in silicon. A liittle bit of a pitty really, technically having an accelerator for several bits of video decoding makes the device last much longer past many more generation of codecs and possibly bypassing licensing issues.


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - Tann San - 2012-07-20

Had this reply waiting for me this morning, arrived about 7 hours ago (03:26)
Quote:Yes. I have received email from Gimli. I have reported to our top management and we are going to discuss about your request seriously this afternoon. I will feedback to you guys after there is an agreement later today.
That is in reply to a mail I sent where I asked why they haven't replied to you and included a link to this thread.


Re: RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - madpanter - 2012-07-20

(2012-07-20, 11:52)Tann San Wrote: Had this reply waiting for me this morning, arrived about 7 hours ago (03:26)
Quote:Yes. I have received email from Gimli. I have reported to our top management and we are going to discuss about your request seriously this afternoon. I will feedback to you guys after there is an agreement later today.
That is in reply to a mail I sent where I asked why they haven't replied to you and included a link to this thread.

Thats good lets hope that they will help the comunity


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - Djape - 2012-07-20

@j1nx

It seems your site is down?
Just to report Smile


RE: Allwinner A10 : Is XBMC ported to MALI-400MP ? - j1nx - 2012-07-20

(2012-07-20, 13:02)Djape Wrote: @j1nx

It seems your site is down?
Just to report Smile

Jep, SERIOUS problem involving smoke and such Sad

Working my a$$ off to get it up again

EDIT: There we are again. Long life automatic backups (phfew)