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Mainline Linux gains accelerated video decoding for Microchip's SAMA5D4

Emil Velikov avatar

Emil Velikov
May 11, 2021

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Lately at Collabora, we have been working on the next generation of video codec devices. Stateless hardware accelerators provide more control over the codec pipeline resulting in improved power savings among other benefits.

One of these devices is the VeriSilicon's Hantro Codec. It is featured on a number of SoC from Rockchip to NXP's i.MX8 series. Recently one of our colleagues, Benjamin Gaignard, has been working on HEVC/H.265 support for the NXP's i.MX8 M

I'm pleased to share that the Hantro V4L2 kernel module has gained support for another SoC, the Microchip SAMA5D4. The device features a single decode unit supporting MPEG2, VP8 and H.264 streams, alongside the built-in post-processing unit.

The patches are to be included in linux v5.14 as per the pull request sent by Video4Linux2 maintainer Hans Verkuil.

As we look into the patches, alongside the SoC specific changes, only very minor improvements were required to the core Hantro V4L2 driver. The clean integration of the patch series illustrates how well the existing driver was designed. A design made in the open with input and contributions from different parties - the essence of open-source.

The series bring in another important aspect - supporting more SoCs allows us to stabilize, and cement really, the userpace API (uAPI) as we saw recently with Linux v5.11 and H.264.

The device itself passes the v4l2-compliance test suite as well as the vast majority of the official comformance samples through the fluster tool VP8 and H.264 GStreamer test suites.

Alongside this work, our colleagues have been investigating the remaining tests, working on performance improvements within GStreamer, adding VP9 decoding and many others.

Do you have a platform that includes hardware codecs? Do you need help with media hardware and Linux? Or with GStreamer? Contact us!

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