Pengutronix TechWeek 2018: NIR for Etnaviv

Once in a year, mostly during springtime, no phone call is answered at Pengutronix, no customer Mail receives a reply, no BSP is built and no coffee machine gargles. But, no fear, this is not the end! It is just the time for something new! New ideas, focused development on new world domination plans and time to think outside the box. Yes, it's again the time for the Pengutronix TechWeek!

As every year, we hid in a green and isolated place with acceptable bandwidth and good catering. The perfect mixture for focused hacking, starting new projects and discussing the big picture.

Thanks to Freifunk Braunschweig, we could set up our own WiFi infrastructure. Besides that we enjoyed ourselves at a trip to Wisentgehege Springe, a local nature park, and on a pgp-keysigning party as well as on a BBQ.

But back to topic: On Friday morning, we had some short talks to share each team's results among our colleagues. In this and some following blog posts, we like to summarize these here as well.

Let's start with some news from our graphics team: During TechWeek 2017, Philipp Zabel and Michael Tretter had taken the first steps towards extending the etnaviv driver in Mesa with NIR compiler support. NIR is a compiler intermediate representation that is well suited for optimizing code transformations and is already used by many other Mesa drivers. Supporting NIR allows to share common optimizations with other drivers and facilitates better register allocation strategies.

Overall this will lead to faster shader code that runs in less instructions and uses fewer registers. Furthermore, using the shared NIR compiler layer will allow to work on common support for OpenCL and SPIR-V in the future.

Philipp and Michael were able to continue their work compiling NIR shaders from the GLSL compiler to Vivante machine code. The screenshot on the right shows one of the glmark2 programs, exposing some visual artefacts resulting from a still-incomplete NIR support; the work consisted of analyzing those artefacts, finding and finally fixing the reasons in the code.

While the code is far from feature complete, the current state looked promising enough that a first patch series was cleaned up and sent to the Mesa-developer ML. Hopefully people out in the community will start experimenting with the new possibilities, finding further bugs, adding features and extending the NIR support in Etnaviv.

For a TechWeek project, the challenge and fun of it was enough motivation. Thinking of future use, Etnaviv has meanwhile reached a maturity status that already enabled its use in many of our industrial customer projects, even in critical markets such as medical, automotive and aerospace. OpenCL on a full blown open source graphics stack will hopefully add interesting additional possibilities in the near future.


Weiterführende Links

Showcase: Grafik auf i.MX8MP

Die Inbetriebnahme der Grafikausgabepipeline auf dem i.MX8M Plus (kurz i.MX8MP) ist ein aktuelles Beispiel dafür, wie Open Source und Upstream-Treiber für GPUs und Displayeinheiten Aufwand und Risiko im Projekt reduzieren können.


Pengutronix auf dem Live Embedded Event

Conference, Event, Testing

Jetzt, wo sich durch die COVID-19-Pandemie alle an die Digitalisierung und Online-Konferenzen gewöhnt haben, war es noch nie so einfach, eine Konferenz zu organisieren und alle Experten und Interessierten aus einem Bereich für wenige Stunden des intensiven Ideenaustauschs zusammenzuholen.


Pengutronix auf dem ESE-Kongress

Auch der Embedded Software Engineering Kongress findet dieses Jahr online statt, und wir möchten die Chance nutzen, diesen als Event-Partner zu unterstützen, mit Leuten ins Gespräch zu kommen und gleichzeitig ein paar interessanten Vorträgen zu lauschen.


ELCE 2020 - Recommended Talks

Chris Fiege | | conference, elce, event

The Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) is the one biggest meetup of Embedded Linux developers in Europe. As usual Pengutronix has attended this conference - but this year from the warmth of our homes.


Pengutronix at FrOSCon 2018

This year, a team from Pengutronix attended FrOSCon in St. Augustin for the first time. We took the opportunity to shake hands, talk about our latest developments and meet hackers interested in working with embedded Linux.


Etnaviv-Unterstützung in Wayland Mainline

Lucas Stach | | Etnaviv

Wenn man der Entwicklung des Linux Grafikstacks folgt, konnte man in den letzten Wochen die Releases von MESA 17.2 und Weston 3.0 beobachten. Neben den üblichen Verbesserungen und Bugfixes für diverse Grafik-Hardware stellen diese aber auch einen wichtigen Meilenstein für das Etnaviv Projekt dar: mit diesen Releases gibt es vollständigen Support für Vivante-Grafikchips in Wayland!