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Posts from the ‘Hardware’ Category

29
Sep

VideocoreIV Glamor on your Raspberry Pi

RaspberryPi Logo

Running an X (Xorg) server on your Raspberry Pi is frustrating. You can either use the fbdev or fbturbo driver which will give an un-accelerated 2D environment with swrast 3D (OpenGL) all beating your poor RPi’s CPU. Overclocking it will only help you so much which is a pity considering that there is another layer on the SoC that would be perfect for that but is now unused.

Enter the VideocoreIV (VC4) and Eric Anholt (formally of Intel, now of Broadcom), who are going to breath new life into the RPi. The idea is to offload the 2D rendering, via Glamor, to the VC4 with OpenGL calls. Since a OpenGL stack needs to exist, that means there will be a Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) Linux kernel module and Gallium/DRI module in Mesa.

This is happening now, here is the current status of support via the Piglit test-suite: skip 19102, fail 3866, pass 3146, crash 153, total 26267

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26
Sep

Development on the Raspberry Pi

RaspberryPi Logo

Now that I’m a proud owner of a Raspberry Pi, I’ve being really stressing the little guy. There is only but so much a ARMv6 processor, on an microSD with only 512MiB of ram can do, which means that compiling on such a machine is going to take a really long time.

Take for example OpenMW, currently it takes about 4 minutes on a quad-core i7 to compile. You’re in for a treat on the Pi, it will take you at least a day, two days if you realize that half-way through the OOM Killer came through and killed your cc process. This is about the time you start wondering about various ways to improve the situation, such as a larger swap file or using zram.

At this point, I was wondering about other ways compiling binaries and packages for the Pi. There was cross-compiling, but then I would have to set up a full toolchain and recompile all the packages from scratch. That will have to be for another post though as it is another world. Another option is to try virtualizing the Pi and apparently QEMU gets us pretty darn close.

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3
Oct

Wireless BCM4312 with the 3.10, 3.11, 3.12 and 3.13 kernels

Broadcom Chipset BCM4312
The hybrid driver from Broadcom was updated again in September (2013) with all the previous patches and a few other fixes as well. This brings them up to support linux kernel 3.9, which is very much welcome.

Sadly it breaks again with >= 3.10 with many warnings and errors which isn’t good considering that Ubuntu (13.10) Saucy Salamander is about to be released.

We do have a patch for you though that gets us working again up to the 3.11 kernel.

Chipsets supported by “Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n hybrid Linux® device driver” are: BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4313, BCM4321, BCM4322, BCM43224, BCM43225, BCM43227 and BCM43228.

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13
Aug

Transcoding for mobiles

transcode-iconThere are times where I need a few films on my mobile for my son to watch. For my particular mobile “Galaxy Gio” the constraints for hardware acceleration is 360p as anything bigger will cause it to switch to software which is slower and sometimes a slideshow. For the uninitiated, 360p means either 480×360 at 4:3 ratio (your old TV) or 640×360 at 16:9 ratio (your HD TV).

First we need to cleanup our file names and sometimes ‘rename’ doesn’t work properly. We list all files and separate them by commas and then parse line by line to first remove everything between () and then everything between []. We then move from the old name to the new name.
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6
May

Upgrade Samsung Galaxy Gio to CyanogenMod 10.1

After about a year of Gingerbread (2.2.3) and CyanogenMod (7.2), I thought it was time again to look at further upgrades to my Galaxy Gio. This was apparently enough time for developers to work out problems involved in dealing with Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) and Jelly Bean (4.[1-2].x) such as no ICS (or greater) libs and codecs from Qualcomm for the MSM7x27 family of chips for hardware acceleration.

Thanks to the Samsung Galaxy Gio community at xda-developers, we now have CyanogenMod (10.1) which is based on Jelly Bean (4.2.2) that is usable for every day use. There are a few things that I’ve noticed that are not perfect, but it is a fully usable ROM. Before you do anything suggested below, it is wise to first backup anything you think important and not just to your SD as it will be overwritten to support an extra ext4 partition that can be used to store your applications and save valuable space. Make sure your SD is rated 6 or better.

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