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bensimmo
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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:00 am

I said aside from the Pi links etc.

What is the VC5s benefit over competing tech. What can it do better?

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:34 am

bensimmo wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:00 am
I said aside from the Pi links etc.

What is the VC5s benefit over competing tech. What can it do better?
What can it do better than competing tech? Offer more speed/capability than the VC4 while providing backward compatibility with the Pi. Other CPU/GPU combinations, or SoC's, like an ARM/Mali pairing, might offer better performance in some ways (perhaps less in others), but the PI lineup has always kept backwards compatibility as a major concern, with the latest Raspbian running on the latest 3B and ZeroW as well as all the way back to the original model B. It's unlikely (not impossible but unlikely) that they would break that compatibility - a VC5 based Pi 4 would likely arrive with a new version of Raspbian that also ran on every PI back to the original model B.

I don't think they're staying with the VideoCore lineup because they're the most fire-breathing high performance chips on the market, they're staying because it allows them to make new models that run Raspbian. The Pi was never about raw horsepower (any modern desktop PC will blow it out of the water), it was about putting enough horsepower in a package small enough, low-power enough, and inexpensive enough to allow for widespread tinkering - whether in a classroom/educational setting or for hobbyists. The VC5 will/would allow the Pi family to benefit from the ongoing march of technological progress while keeping that vital backwards/family compatibility.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:43 am

You should be saying VC5 3D block. Just saying VC5 implies all the other stuff is also there in VC5 level spec (ie improved over VC4), and the stuff here is all about 3D.
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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:16 am

...ignoring the Pi ties...
I'm not on about the Pi,I'm talking VC5 (3D parts in this case)
I'm not up on mobile 3D parts, or is it actually a bit poor and Broadcom (Broadcom now) are using it because it's there for their STB's or does it have some nice tricks.

It's easy to find desktop comparisons, but that may be because I've know them a bit more.

Where does it sit in the capabilities, speed stakes?

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:31 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:16 am
...ignoring the Pi ties...
I'm not on about the Pi,I'm talking VC5 (3D parts in this case)
I'm not up on mobile 3D parts, or is it actually a bit poor and Broadcom (Broadcom now) are using it because it's there for their STB's or does it have some nice tricks.

It's easy to find desktop comparisons, but that may be because I've know them a bit more.

Where does it sit in the capabilities, speed stakes?
The Vc3/4 were designed nearly 10 years ago. Very advanced for the time, not so much now, BUT, still very effective. But of course, times move, so all the other mobile 3D stuff out there, MALI for example, have moved on.

But, think about this, how many people have actually used the 3D block on the Pi to its full capability, even after 5 years? Not many, even though it uses a standard API (OpenGLES) so should be fairly easy for people to use. In my book it's a real shame there haven't been more 3D games or suchlike developed for the Pi. I think Kodi uses the 3D block, but not sure.
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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:20 pm

The 3D block may be done. Maybe the next Pi will use that 3D Block (which according to a previous mod post, was something like twice the speed.) However, that still won't allow 4K. Or USB 3.0. Or any other crazy wishes.

Raspberry Pi Foundation does have a LOT of engineers from VideoCore IV though. Maybe they could strike a deal with Broadcom for a VideoCore 4.5 or something. After all, it is a new Broadcom (though that may not be a good thing).

The other option would be to drop the bomb and go Mali. However, going Mali makes the Pi lose backwards compatibility, could damage it's reputation, and make Chinese clones far easier to make because they can get Mali (whereas they can't get VideoCore without a far higher order requirement).

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:27 pm

gtechn wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:20 pm
The 3D block may be done. Maybe the next Pi will use that 3D Block (which according to a previous mod post, was something like twice the speed.) However, that still won't allow 4K. Or USB 3.0. Or any other crazy wishes.
USB 3 probably has nothing to do with the VideoCore, even though it might use it (one certainly hopes so...so that boot from MSD works). In the mean time, you *really* need to go read the publicized specs on the STB chips, even though we've been told that those chips are not suitable for a next gen Pi. What those specs *do* tells us is what sorts of things Broadcom is including in SoCs now--and, therefore, what sorts of features are possible for a suitable SoC. Those specs, and particularly the "VC5" parts of them cover the issues you are disparaging. Or to be a bit blunt about it, you're talking through your hat.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:35 pm

jamesh wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:31 pm
But, think about this, how many people have actually used the 3D block on the Pi to its full capability, even after 5 years? Not many, even though it uses a standard API (OpenGLES) so should be fairly easy for people to use. In my book it's a real shame there haven't been more 3D games or suchlike developed for the Pi. I think Kodi uses the 3D block, but not sure.
You've identified the problem ... OpenGLES ! It really is a steep learning curve the first time you use it. Even though I had used OpenGL before, I had not used GLSL so it was still a big step to move to OpenGLES. And there still don't seem to have been any beginner friendly toolkits produced.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:29 pm

Okay, so result of this topic: VideoCore V 3D Block is completed, but nothing else. A VideoCore V driver is being written for that 3D Block, so that VideoCore can used that finished part.

So, how will the GPU upgrade? Mali is death for Raspberry Pi. If the RPF goes Mali, there is nothing left to really differentiate it from Chinese ripoff boards (like Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Pine64). Then the Chinese ripoff boards would be able to run Raspbian with few alterations. Furthermore, it would damage the Raspberry Pi's reputation because it would not be as backwards-compatible anymore.

Either keep going with VideoCore, OR switch to something less-known than Mali (hopefully with better Linux support.) PowerVR?

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:01 am

gtechn wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:29 pm
Okay, so result of this topic: VideoCore V 3D Block is completed, but nothing else. A VideoCore V driver is being written for that 3D Block, so that VideoCore can used that finished part.

So, how will the GPU upgrade? Mali is death for Raspberry Pi. If the RPF goes Mali, there is nothing left to really differentiate it from Chinese ripoff boards (like Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Pine64). Then the Chinese ripoff boards would be able to run Raspbian with few alterations. Furthermore, it would damage the Raspberry Pi's reputation because it would not be as backwards-compatible anymore.

Either keep going with VideoCore, OR switch to something less-known than Mali (hopefully with better Linux support.) PowerVR?
You still haven't looked at the specs for the STB chips that are using the VC5 (3D), have you? You've missed that those chips do 2160p60, aka 4k. That implies, to me at least, that the next gen Pi will have that feature as well.

What does the Pi have over those other boards? For one thing, decent support and a reasonably current kernel. The RPF/RPT has negotiated to be able to use some pretty spiffy software. Raspbian is a very solid distribution. Those "few alterations" are likely to take more time and financial resources than those Chinese knock off board makers can afford or are willing to spend the time doing.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:59 am

The main reason Chinese boards don't run Raspbian well is because they don't have the VideoCore, and Raspbian is built for VideoCore. If Raspbian and Raspberry Pi went Mali, guess what, they do have that. Anyone can get Mali. All it takes are a few changes for that specific chip, and boom! Just sit back and use the Raspberry Pi Foundation's work, while you just repackage it slightly. It probably is even less work than making and maintaining a distribution yourself.

The STB chips may be the future. But I have heard they may lack some important Pi-specific features that the old chips have. Does VC5 have 4K? (I thought it was only 1080p.)

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:11 am

gtechn wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:59 am
The main reason Chinese boards don't run Raspbian well is because they don't have the VideoCore, and Raspbian is built for VideoCore. If Raspbian and Raspberry Pi went Mali, guess what, they do have that. Anyone can get Mali. All it takes are a few changes for that specific chip, and boom! Just sit back and use the Raspberry Pi Foundation's work, while you just repackage it slightly. It probably is even less work than making and maintaining a distribution yourself.
They don't, huh? Want to tell that to the Cubieboard and Cubieboard 2 sitting next to me...both running Raspbian.
The STB chips may be the future. But I have heard they may lack some important Pi-specific features that the old chips have. Does VC5 have 4K? (I thought it was only 1080p.)
I *said* "go look at the published specs on the STBs". You still haven't, have you? They explicitly state that they do 2160p60. I'm not suggesting that one of those SoCs will be the next gen Pi, but I am saying that it shows that Broadcom has the ability to make an SoC with VC5 (3D) that *will* do 4k.

What it really comes down to is this: What features do you think the current Mali has that the VC4 doesn't that the Pi should have? Don't you think that Broadcom might have a way to make an otherwise suitable SoC with those features using their preferred design? Now, personally, I really don't care one way or the other about Pi doing 4K video, but I'm sure there are others that do, so I wouldn't argue against adding that. The same goes for basically anything else that is handled by the VC4/VC5 (3D), with one exception, and I haven't seen anything that covers that exception. I think it would be a good idea to be able to handle more than 1GB of RAM. Not because it is needed in the immediate future, but there will be pressure in that direction over time. Just as the original Model B only had 2566MB and eventually went to 512MB, the next gen Pi could be 1GB and expanding that to--say--2GB when memory prices permit.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:56 am

jamesh,
...how many people have actually used the 3D block on the Pi...
Me. I did. I spent hours compiling Qt 5 for the Pi some years ago so that I could run GLES into the frame buffer on the Pi.
...to its full capability...
Well, OK, not so much. It was more a proof of concept that did not go anywhere.
...it uses a standard API (OpenGLES) so should be fairly easy for people to use.
Ah, no. Programming to the OpenGLES API is not something many people are going to want to spend time on. It's hard.

Then, until recently it was not possible to use it from X. Only into the frame buffer. Even now I cannot use it in X. When I enable the GPU I get not display at all on my big Samsung monitor.
...it's a real shame there haven't been more 3D games or suchlike developed for the Pi....
Yep, it's a shame. Given the above it hardly surprising though.

Now, if I could run my 3D creations in WebGL on the Pi I'd be very happy. Things like THREE.js or babylon.js make this very easy.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:13 am

gtechn wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:59 am
The main reason Chinese boards don't run Raspbian well is because they don't have the VideoCore, and Raspbian is built for VideoCore.
Raspbian is built for 32-bit ARMv6 (specifically the ARM1176 that the Pi 0 and 1 series use) and above. There are only a few packages and the desktop display driver that utilise some of the power of the VC.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:25 am

rpdom,

As far as I'm concerned raspbian is that image I download from raspberrypi.org.

What machine in the world, apart from the Pi's, can boot that image? I suspect none. Why? Because it requires the VC to boot, which the other guys do not have.

I'm sure you are right in that most of what is in the image could be run on some other machine given that the vendor modified it to boot there.

But that is not raspbian anymore.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:14 am

Heater wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:25 am
As far as I'm concerned raspbian is that image I download from raspberrypi.org.
Raspbian is a distribution originally developed independently of the RPF to support the Pi 1B. The raspberrypi.org image uses files from that repo along with a kernel and bootloader and other bits from archive.raspberrypi.org (not part of Raspbian).

So technically the raspberrypi.org image is "based on Raspbian" or "uses Raspbian". It isn't 100% Raspbian.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:31 am

rpdom,

I'm not sure how those independent raspbian developers and the Pi Foundation collaborate. The end result is that "raspbian" comes from raspberrypi.org and I have not heard anyone complaining about that or squabbling over the name.

My statement still stands. Raspbian, as we know and love it for the Pi, will not boot on any other Pi like ARM machine because they lack the VC.

I have no doubt the vendors could adapt raspbian to run on their boards. But then they are in a world of incompatiblity with the Pi.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:08 am

Given I can run 'raspbian' in all purpose to the layman on an x86. (I noticed it's not 64 or the 'multi' thing and the installer doesn't work from in my Win10 ).
Yes I know it's not, but many don't differentiate that Raspbian Desktop is not Raspbian.

There is nothing to stop Raspbian Desktop being run on other tiny things once the boards have Debian chugging along.
They are the clones.
If they have their GPIO ticking along they can plug it into python libraries and probably adapt gpiozero to work etc.

The desktop then spreads it's wings and nobody needs to know what's running under the hood.
But is there anyone bothering to do this and clone in this manner?

The specs of the STB in question has everything everyone asks for, gig E, usb3, UHD etc from the outside bar the ARM speed.
James says it's not all there for a Pi4 and he should know, so I take his word for it :-)
(Well unless you are German as they cannot buy them from memory, probably their 265 thing?)

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:31 am

Heater wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:56 am
...it uses a standard API (OpenGLES) so should be fairly easy for people to use.
Ah, no. Programming to the OpenGLES API is not something many people are going to want to spend time on. It's hard.
No worse than OpenGL. Any 3D API is difficult.

If the Pi had OpenGL (which it will soon with Eric's driver), would people be writing *more* games for the Pi? Or more 3D apps?

I suspect more people would be running existing SW, but still, very few writing new stuff.
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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:50 pm

jamesh,
No worse than OpenGL.
OpenGL is not simple to use, it requires a great deal of study to even get started. I rest my case.
Any 3D API is difficult.
True but game engines and such make it a lot easier.

In the web world things like TREE.js, Babylon.js and Ivanko make writing 3d accelerated things very much easier.

https://threejs.org/
http://www.babylonjs.com/
http://lib.ivank.net/?p=demos&d=real3D

If I could run those from node.js (JS without the browser), under Electron say, I would be very happy. If I could do that without X I'd be even happier.
I suspect more people would be running existing SW, but still, very few writing new stuff.
Running existing SW would be great. I'm sure a few brave souls will be creating new things. Especially if a simple API is available like those above.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:26 pm

Okay, this is all incredibly interesting.

Now my question is, how hard would it be to copy-paste the VC-V 3D Block into a VideoCore IV circuit? In other words, how hard would it be to take the BCM2837 and remove the 3D Block on it, then replace it with the finished VideoCore V block?

If this was possible, perhaps it should be called VideoCore IV.V (4.5).

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:16 am

gtechn wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:26 pm
Okay, this is all incredibly interesting.

Now my question is, how hard would it be to copy-paste the VC-V 3D Block into a VideoCore IV circuit? In other words, how hard would it be to take the BCM2837 and remove the 3D Block on it, then replace it with the finished VideoCore V block?

If this was possible, perhaps it should be called VideoCore IV.V (4.5).
Why would you want to do that? It would be like developing a whole new chip. Bear in mind that the VC4 is taped out for 40nm. The VC5 3D is 28nm, so you'd have to either "expand" to the 3d blocks to match the VC4 (as well as fitting everything together), or you would have to die shrink the VC4...which is tantamount to making an entire new VC4. Either approach would be an absolute nightmare, even before you get to other likely differences, such as the probability that the VC5 3D can address more than 1GB external RAM.

On the whole, better to use the VC5 3D, or an existing variant of it. It most likely has all the features of the VC4 plus additions, improvements, bug fixes and extensions. And it's designed to work at the new, smaller, process node.

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:21 am

Heater wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:31 am
rpdom,

The end result is that "raspbian" comes from raspberrypi.org and I have not heard anyone complaining about that or squabbling over the name.
No, it doesn't, and you diminish the work that rasbian.org do, but RPF 'raspbian' really needs to change name to rpfdain or something as it's more than the recompiled and tailored debian as raspbian is (I don't want to trivialising the effort raspbian.org does, and i I'm hugely gratefull that I still get updates for wheezy that the RPF have abandoned).

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:13 am

So let me get this straight...

We have: "Download Raspbian for Raspberry Pi" here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/

Or we can get Raspian images from the actual raspian.org site here: https://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianImages

Oh, wait, no we can't. There is no raspbian image to download there to be found. They refer you back to raspberrypi.org.

I have no idea how these guys work together but it seems pretty tight.

Why are you insisting the Foundation rename their images as "rpfdain" or whatever stupid thing?

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Re: Is VideoCore FIVE in development?

Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:16 am

gtechn wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:26 pm
Okay, this is all incredibly interesting.

Now my question is, how hard would it be to copy-paste the VC-V 3D Block into a VideoCore IV circuit? In other words, how hard would it be to take the BCM2837 and remove the 3D Block on it, then replace it with the finished VideoCore V block?

If this was possible, perhaps it should be called VideoCore IV.V (4.5).
Please just accept that within the foreseeable future nothing will change despite your hypothetical misguided musings :lol:
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