Lemote's Playing With Loongson Radeon UVD
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 5 September 2013 at 01:54 PM EDT. 9 Comments
Many Phoronix readers seem to be infatuated by the MIPS-based Loongson systems, while the hardware is hard to find -- and even if you manage to find it in western markets, it's very expensive. For those fond of the Loongson processors and happen to have a Radeon chipset, Lemote is playing around with Radeon UVD video acceleration.

Lemote is the Chinese company responsible for the Loongson processors and the Netbook "Yeeloong" and Desktop "Lynloong" computers bearing these MIPS processors and featuring 100% free software from the BIOS upwards.

With some of these Lemote Loongson systems having Radeon graphics and running Linux, Lemote has been exploring using Radeon UVD video acceleration on their MIPS hardware. Radeon UVD support was merged into the Linux 3.10 kernel to provide hardware-based video acceleration for popular codecs in conjunction with an updated Mesa/Gallium3D user-space. The open-source UVD support has been one of the biggest open-source AMD advancements this calendar year. Most of the Radeon testing is obviously done on x86/x86_64 and it turns out there's some MIPS issues to work through.

Several Phoronix readers so far have pointed out that on the dri-devel mailing list, a Lemote engineer is attempting to work out these issues. Having UVD on the lower-performance systems has the potential to be a big performance and power-savings win for video playback, especially without having to deal with any binary video blobs.

Fortunately if you're wanting to use Radeon video support on AMD/Intel CPUs and are using the latest kernel and Mesa, you should be in fairly good shape and get decent results -- especially if using Linux 3.11+ where there is dynamic power management support.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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