Why no drivers for Powervr SGX

Discussion in 'Mobile Software' started by Dawgmatix, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Dawgmatix

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    I wanted to know if anyone knows why drivers for Powervr chips arent widely available. Take for example the case of the Nokia N800 (and the 770 before that I believe), the device shipped with a 3D chip in it, but for the entire lifetime of the product a 3D driver has not been made available. Painful as that is, it doesnt affect me directly.

    Ditto for the beagleboard. Where I have read multiple posts about the lack of drivers. Again this doesnt affect me but thinking of all that underutilised hardware ... is a sad thought.

    However I am an openpandora early buyer, and it seems now there are some questions about whether this device will have drivers for the powervr chip. So anyone knows why this is the state of affairs ?
     
  2. tongue_of_colicab

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    Im not sure, but isnt this a case of $$$? The HTC tynII I believe also had a 3d chip (not from povervr though I believe) and for a long time that didnt come with a driver either. The whole story behind that was I believe that you can buy the chip but that doesnt automatically buy you the driver. You have to fork out extra cash if you want that.
     
  3. Dawgmatix

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    Nokia doesnt have the money?

    I find it extremely hard to believe that Nokia doesnt have mountains of cash sitting in a bank. :grin:
     
  4. argor

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    see http://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21697&highlight=powervr
    . beagleboard will have the drivers nou there are beta drivers out there
    http://groups.google.com/group/beag...bb79383525?lnk=gst&q=POWERVR#14af5abb79383525

    the Pandora people they have the drivers http://www.gp32x.com/board/index.php?s=&showtopic=45406&view=findpost&p=672351
     
  5. Dawgmatix

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    Hmm the nokia 810 link basically says no drivers.

    The beagleboard link says drivers sometime next year.

    The openpandora link says that they dont know when it will be out. :sad: (the current kernel tree doesnt have the driver).
     
  6. argor

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    no they did say they will not put the close source drivers in the public kernel tree
    till before the pandora go out you do nou that are 2 kernel trees
    still they have them
     
  7. TheArchitect

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    You also have some tricky IP issues with Linux drivers, one false move an all you driver source could end up in the public domain thanks to the GPL.

    IP providers often impose (and quite rightly) tight controls on licensees of driver source. This is particularly purtinent with shader based systems due to the shader compiler being hosted on platform. These often contain a lot of "secret sauce".

    BTW - I think thats a Qualcomm based device in the HTC which means AMD/ATI core. It was an OMAP in the original version I think (which you could over clock!). Not strictly relevant, but interesting non the less :wink:
     
  8. Dawgmatix

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    Thanks for the info

    Thanks for the info - I never thought about IP issues being involved.

    Just hoping to get my hands on an opengl ES 2 capable device one way or the other, so that I can do some development. I guess I will just have to get by using the es 2 simulator that Imagination Technologies ships.
     
  9. TheArchitect

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    Most of the major manufacturers and IP providers have developer programs. Try tapping one of them for a development board. There always on the look out for demo content etc.

    You might have to sign a nasty NDA, but at least you'll get a real deal platform.
     
  10. tangey

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    I would assume you'd have to look in the direction of TI for drivers, as they are the supplier of the Omap chip in the pandora that has "IMG inside" (listens for the jingle)
     
  11. Ailuros

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    Dumb question: does the Nokia N800 contain MBX or SGX?
     
  12. TheArchitect

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    I think N800 is a PXA250 or similar Xscale chip isn't it? The N810 was the first OMAP based device and I think its a 2420, which would mean MBX and VGP. Same as the N93 (the camcordery one?) and N95.
     
  13. TheArchitect

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    Just be prepared to give away your first born to get at them :lol:

    Pandora is not really an OEM device, its more of an "Enthusiast" dev, board, so it is actually a bit slack of them not to have secured a method of releasing the drivers.

    Mind you the consequences of an IP breach maybe more than they could bare...

    Would be in PowerVR's favour though to "do a deal" to give them a source of cheap, readily available development system like that (can't imagine OMAP dev. kits are cheap through a disty - thats if you can get them at all).
     
  14. tangey

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  15. argor

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    the people behind the pandora have stated many time the drivers will be releasing
    when pandora will come out
     
  16. Ailuros

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    Thought so; I was wondering since the original poster was asking for SGX drivers.

    It's times more easier for PowerVR to release their reference drivers for MBX/SGX on their homesite. I don't see a reason why they shouldn't anyway.
     
  17. Laurent06

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    The BeagleBoard (link) is a nice low-priced ($150) dev board based on OMAP3530 (Cortex-A8, C64x+, SGX). Beta linux SGX drivers have been demonstrated (OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0).
     
  18. Laurent06

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    My understanding is that Imagination policy for drivers is that the chip maker is responsible for driver distribution (see question 3 here).
     
  19. TheArchitect

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    Neat! Thats a hell of a lot better than the $1495 for the official TI eval board.

    Says on the Beagleboard.org site about Cortex A8 being superscalar... I'm not sure thats true.
     
  20. arjan de lumens

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    Actually, it is. 2 instructions per clock, in-order.
     

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