"Developing and upstreaming complete Linux support for the Allwinner VPU, for hardware accelerated video decoding and encoding.
The Allwinner ARM processors are very popular in a large number of hobbyists development boards, and more and more widely used in embedded products. Support for those processors was initiated in the official Linux kernel by Bootlin (formerly Free Electrons) engineer Maxime Ripard in 2012, and has since then been improved up to the point where actual Allwinner-based products are being shipped with the official Linux kernel.
However, one key feature that is missing from the support in the official Linux kernel is support for the VPU (Video Processing Unit). This unit allows to offload to the hardware the decoding and encoding of video streams, avoiding the need to involve the CPU for such intensive operations. Having VPU support would provide a smoother video decoding/encoding experience, at a much lower CPU consumption.
A lot of existing work has already been done around supporting Allwinner’s VPU (including by Bootlin, see below), and the goal of this Kickstarter is to build on top of this work to complete VPU support and have it supported in the official Linux kernel.
It is worth mentioning that this goal is listed as one of the High Priority projects of the Free Software Foundation."