Re: Plan to support Rockchip VPU in DRM, is it a good idea

From: Randy Li
Date: Fri Aug 26 2016 - 08:09:11 EST

On 08/26/2016 06:56 PM, Hans Verkuil wrote:
On 08/26/2016 12:05 PM, Randy Li wrote:

On 08/26/2016 05:34 PM, Hans Verkuil wrote:
Hi Randi,

On 08/26/2016 04:13 AM, Randy Li wrote:
We always use some kind of hack work to make our Video Process
Unit(Multi-format Video Encoder/Decoder) work in kernel. From a
customize driver(vpu service) to the customize V4L2 driver. The V4L2
subsystem is really not suitable for the stateless Video process or it
could make driver too fat.
After talking to some kindness Intel guys and moving our userspace
library to VA-API driver, I find the DRM may the good choice for us.
But I don't know whether it is welcome to to submit a video driver in
DRM subsystem?
Also our VPU(Video process unit) is not just like the Intel's, we
don't have VCS, we based on registers to set the encoder/decoder. I
think we may need a lots of IOCTL then. Also we do have a IOMMU in VPU
but also not a isolated memory for VPU, I don't know I should use TT
memory or GEM memory.
I am actually not a member of the department in charge of VPU, and I
am just beginning to learning DRM(thank the help from Intel again), I am
not so good at memory part as well(I am more familiar with CMA not the
IOMMU way), I may need know guide about the implementations when I am
going to submit driver, I hope I could get help from someone.

It makes no sense to do this in the DRM subsystem IMHO. There are already
quite a few HW codecs implemented in the V4L2 subsystem and more are in the
pipeline. Putting codec support in different subsystems will just make
userspace software much harder to write.

One of the codecs that was posted to linux-media was actually from Rockchip:

There is also a libVA driver (I think) that sits on top of it:
It is old version, I am the author of this
For the Allwinner a patch series was posted yesterday:

They created a pretty generic libVA userspace that looks very promising at
first glance.

What these have in common is that they depend on the Request API and Frame API,
neither of which has been merged. The problem is that the Request API requires
more work since not only controls have to be part of a request, but also formats,
selection rectangles, and even dynamic routing changes. While that is not relevant
for codecs, it is relevant for Android CameraHAL in general and complex devices
like Google's Project Ara.
Actually just as the Intel did, our hardware decoder/encoder need full
settings for them, most of them are relevant to the codec. You may
notice that there is four extra control need to be set before. If the
libvpu(a helper library we offered to parse each slice to generate
decoder settings) is remove(in process now, only three decoder settings
can't got from VA-API directly), it would be more clearly.
We really a lots decoder settings information to make the decoder work.
This is being worked on, but it is simply not yet ready. The core V4L2 developers
involved in this plan to discuss this on the Monday before the ELCE in Berlin,
to see if we can fast track this work somehow so this support can be merged.

I am glad to hear that. I hope that I could have an opportunity to show
our problems.
If there are missing features in V4L2 (other that the two APIs discussed above)
that prevent you from creating a good driver, then please discuss that with us.
We are always open to suggestions and improvements and want to work with you on
I have a few experience with the s5p-mfc, and I do wrote a V4L2 encoder
plugin for Gstreamer. I don't think the V4L2 is good place for us
stateless video processor, unless it would break the present implementation.

The stateful and stateless are operated quite differently. The
stateless must parse the header and set those settings for every frames.
The request data may quite different from vendor to vendor, even chip to
chip. It is impossible to make a common way to send those settings to
driver.For the samsung MFC, you don't need to do any parse work at all.
Anyway, I would like to follow what Intel does now, we are both
stateless video processor.
I don't see the problem. As I understand it what the hardware needs is the
video data and settings (i.e. 'state'). It will process the video data (encode
or decode) and return the result (probably with additional settings/state).

V4L2 + Request API does exactly that. What does DRM offer you that makes life
Actually I don't reject the new framework, I also have heard this new API before. But the last update of Request API is 2015 and still not been merged yet. The DRM looks more stable and less limit. I still doesn't know how to implement a new V4L2 Request API. I would like to last prototype of V4L2 Request API.
easier for you compared to V4L2? I am not aware of Intel upstreaming any of
their codec solutions, if you have pointers to patches from them attempting
to do that, then please let me know.
I just like the Intel way, they move to support of any new format to userspace. Also I don't think it would looks a streaming operation, one shot stop doesn't really like what V4L2 does.

Anyway I really want to know more detail about V4L2 request API, I am a junior member in Rockchip, I need my supervisor to make final decision. So I hope I could know about more this. Also the state of framework should be count into. I am too fresh to handle the bleeding state.

I would be ayaka in #dri-devel or #linux-rockchip @freenode for the weekend and stdint in the workday.

If your goal is to get your code into the upstream kernel, then I am not
sure Intel is the best place to look: I have yet to see patches from their
media (camera/isp/codec) team. They do not seem to care about kernel

I am trying to avoid that support for these devices gets fragmented over
various subsystems and with various userspace solutions. I don't think that
is in anyone's interest.