Graphics power of the beagleboard

I was just curious to know what the GPU on the beagleboard could be
compared to on a regular computer?

Aaron,

From what I've read (mostly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerVR) the
graphics accellerator is pretty much specialized to rendering
triangles, so it's not a general-purpose computer IMO. Details of
what it actually does and how it does it are confidential. You can't
even get a device driver without jumping through hoops. Too bad,
because if Beaglers could send a list of triangles directly to the GX
accellerator it would be a lot more efficient. Imagination
Technologies is probably afraid that if they publish a complete spec
companies in countries with lax IP law enforcement will reverse
engineer a cheaper equivalent product. I can't say I blame
Imagination Technologies for feeling that way, though it hasn't
stopped ARM, Intel, PowerPC, and MIPS from publishing their own
architectures and licensing them successfully.

Aaron,

From what I've read (mostly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerVR) the
graphics accellerator is pretty much specialized to rendering
triangles, so it's not a general-purpose computer IMO.

It supports OpenGLES2.0, so it has programmable shaders in addition to simply rendering triangles.

Details of
what it actually does and how it does it are confidential. You can't
even get a device driver without jumping through hoops.

You can get drivers from [1], but they are for a 2.6.22 kernel. If that isn't a problem for you, then you can feel free to integrate them. If it is a problem, you'll just have more work to integrate them or you'll need to wait until the next driver release.

This is quite a bit of documentation within the Graphics SDK as well, so you can start learning about the engine from there.

[1] https://www-a.ti.com/downloads/sds_support/targetcontent/dvsdk/oslinux_dvsdk/v3_00_3530/index.html

Hi,

John Beetem schrieb:

Aaron,

From what I've read (mostly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerVR) the

graphics accellerator is pretty much specialized to rendering
triangles, so it's not a general-purpose computer IMO. Details of

I think Aaron's question was about the performance comparison of
Beagle's PowerVR against a mainstream desktop graphics chip.

E.g. it would be helpful if someone who has the 3d acceleration enabled
on the beagle may run glxgears and report the FPS.

Regards
Robert

glxgears is not a benchmark, even the authors keep saying that :slight_smile:

regards,

Koen

John,

Do you know how could I get opengl SDK and driver to try on graphics accelerator on the beagleboard?
I don't know where I can get opengles SDK. Based on the beagle.org, contact TI, no response.
Regards,
Yi

http://focus.ti.com/lit/ug/spruff6b/spruff6b.pdf

The above links to a document that has the details of what is
supported. Additional documentation in the SDK provide the list of
features in SW.

The OMAP2 (earlier,prior to OMAP3) version of the Imagination
technologies solution, has similar benchmarks to the below:

http://www.glbenchmark.com/phonedetails.jsp?benchmark=pro&D=Apple%20iPhone&testgroup=gl

The OMAP3 one has more features and supports ES2.0.

Prabu,

THanks for the reply.
I still don't know where I can acquire the library (opengles)
Regards,
Yi

Yi,

I still don't know where I can acquire the library (opengles)

You can only get it from TI. As it's in Beta right now in practice you can only get it if you talk to one of their FAEs. It was stated fairly publically at the recent ARM Cambridge event that the libraries are expected to be released "quite soon".

Rob

I've replied with the link[1] a few times now. The current release only includes support for the 2.6.22 kernel, but an updated release is in the works.

[1] https://www-a.ti.com/downloads/sds_support/targetcontent/dvsdk/oslinux_dvsdk/v3_00_3530/index.html

This whole thing is getting way off the subject. I just wanted to know what the power of the graphics on the beagleboard could be compared to on a regular PC.

I've replied with the link[1] a few times now. The current release
only includes support for the 2.6.22 kernel, but an updated release is
in the works.

I'm referring to the updated release. The earlier release is of limited use to anyone not using the antiquated (and forked) EVM kernel.

This whole thing is getting way off the subject. I just wanted to know what the power of
the graphics on the beagleboard could be compared to on a regular PC.

There's no such thing as a "regular PC" when it comes to graphics, so any comparison can only be made in the broadest terms. The PowerVR SGX530 core in the 3530 is designed for low (electrical) power applications (at least, that has become its niche in the last few years) rather than blistering performance. It's a very slow clocked core by PC GPU standards, but uses a very efficient shading method to get decent performance - in effect Z plane reduction is built in to the rendering process. TI claim 10M polygons/second for their implementation. That's about where PC GPUs were 7 or 8 years ago, although the pixel shader is much more sophisticated in the SGX. A modern PC GPU delivers somewhere around 150M to 200M polygons per second, and of course has a much smaller impact on system performance as, unlike the OMAP, most desktop PC cards have a separate graphics memory bus. Having said all that, by SoC standards the SGX530 is very hot and I'm looking forward to getting some more meaningful pixel and vertex per second benchmarks when I get it to do something useful.

I understand TI have licensed the SGX540 core for future OMAP development - that should be around twice as fast as the 535.

Rob