Hey it works? But what about GPU acceleration

My particular interest is in game programming and teaching game programming, I use SBC’s as a means to explain some of the basic concepts of console programming as they share similar development build chains. This means I need a basic OS system with working hardware drivers.

I just managed (after a bit of confusion) to get Ubuntu Mate onto my Vim2 Pro, and was comfortably able to install mesa graphic libs as well as a few other things.

My test project compiled and ran fine, I was very impressed, except for the fact that the GPU is clearly not being accessed in hardware, as it is running painfully slow.

GLMark2,es2 also was unable to confirm the existence of a T820 and defaulted to standard ES3.0 rendering tests which it was unable to complete.

Do we have any idea when we can get hardware accelerated GPU use? It would make this by far one of the most impressive machines in my collection when it has it.

hardware accelerated games have to rely on an os whose graphics and signal processings are hardware accelerated: this is the always the case in all android and windows and game console os and almost never the case with linuxes.
one single exception in linux: qualcomm snapdragon 410c.

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It seems likely that T820 drivers will never be opensourced and the reverse engineering solutions have ground to a halt over three years ago. Unless you are happy to program for Android your have arrived in a cul de sac.
Choose another platform. The X86 development boards are starting to become competitive and I would look to them for a solution.


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Actually there are several SBC’s which have hardware acceleration enabled, I have most of them in my drawer of shame, Raspberry Pi being by far the most obvious and popular, but also Odroid, BananaPi and Nano pi have some degree of acceleration available on their boards. I have a snapdragon 410c, but not got round to fully testing it yet.
I also have a couple of x86 boards, from Up, 1 has drivers, the other does not. That’s a common situation, the use of a particular chipset does not guarantee the availability of accelerated drivers, but I am sure they will come on line soon.

I do prefer to code on Linux based systems as they are more similar to console OS’s, being very light and focusing on as hardware interfaces. but if I have to I can switch to an Android NDK system and see what the results are for that.

Thanks for the confirmation that the T820 is a bit of a dead end on Linux for now, I will make a note and move on.

Any of the x86 with Intel HD integrated graphics should be good to go. They have gone a long way to Opensource their drivers from what I understand.

If ARM doesn’t pull its finger out and produce Opensource drivers (or even Linux blobs) they are going to start to get left behind as Intel undercut them on performance and usability at ever diminishing prices. The VIM2 is only marginally cheaper than some of the x86 offering out there. The main reason I chose it over an x86 board was its dTV support/board which has hit a bit of a roadblock for exactly the reasons of closed source code. The Pi3 will likely remain in poll position mainly because of its consistency of Opensource support, no use having cutting edge graphics if you cannot use them.
ARM based companies are hamstringing their offerings - but I suspect that the captive Android phone market means they just don’t care.


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Well they get income from Android, they get nothing for Linux, there’s very little commercial value for them to make their systems open source.
Which is why Allwinner’s decision last year to make their info available was quite brave, and I hope we see that expanded on.

Since almost all embedded systems are Linux based, and a growing sector, I would have thought that market share would have been an ongoing issue. Intel will overtake them if they continue to focus on their Atom range.
Almost every one of the Android TV boxes would recieve a huge step up in performance if it was shipped with Libreelec as standard.


Can’t disagree, but as I said commercially they get nothing for Linux, it is by nature a free open source OS.
Unless there is a financial incentive, the SOC makers have no obligation to do anything. The system makers buy their chips in bulk, and use them as they see fit, unwilling to offer any fee for the GPU usage which many people don’t care about. So there’s no reason for the system makers to ask for and pay (thus increasing price) for the access.

It all boils down to money. Android phone makers pay for the data, Linux, begs for it.

Android is also Linux when it comes to hw graphic modules (aka drivers).
And in theory, by some or other licence, one must make any changes/additions to linux kernel open source. This is the correct spirit: you take from linux and you give back.
In practice drivers often appear for one particular deviating linux kernel variant tailored to one particular set of devices. Without source code changes or driver code, so one cannot port to, or maintain in, mainline kernel.

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