Log in

View Full Version : No 3D / media acceleration support in current Qualcomm-based handsets?!

11-11-2007, 05:05 PM
As you may already have noticed, I've been promoting the Qualcomm MSM7200 chipset-based handsets not only because of their, compared to the alternative chipsets / processors, more advanced features; for example, the pretty good, albeit a bit worse than now industry-standard SiRFstarIII (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SiRFstar_III) GPS, HSPA support built-in; speed advantage over most other CPU's; being ARM11-based etc. But also because of their three-dimensional (3D) graphics and multimedia decoding acceleration support.

3D acceleration is a MUST for both running (yes, you've guessed) 3D games, some emulators (for example, Tala's SNES, PocketGBA or some arcade emulators - see my emulation-related articles). Multimedia decoding, in general, also means MPEG video decoding support, which, through the much lower CPU usage, may result in drastic battery life increase. A perfect example of this is decoding non-H.264 (unfortunately, decoding H.264 isn't supported by the 2700G) video on the Intel 2700G-based Dell Axim x50v and x51v. Enabling the explicit 2700G support inside TCPMP (or CorePlayer) results in the possibility of drastically underclocking the PDA. Typically, a full-res (PAL / NTSC) AVI file can be played back underclocked to 208 MHz, as opposed to 624 MHz, which the handheld would constantly run at when only using software-only decoding. This means a GREATLY enhanced battery life.

The developers of CorePlayer (the premiere video player for all(!!) mobile platforms (yes, even the iPhone will be supported (http://www.corecodec.com/forums/index.php?topic=542.0)!!) have announced they would look into the problem. BTW, they also promise support for the GoForce 5500 already available in the O2 XDA Flame (http://www.pocketpcmag.com/blogs/index.php?blog=3&p=2116&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1), the Toshiba G900 and some forthcoming i-Mate PDA’s. Also, they promise support for the 3D accelerator in the Nokia E90 / N93(i) / N95, the S-E P990 / M600 / W950 / P1 / W960 and the Moto Z8 (http://www.corecodec.com/forums/index.php?topic=411.msg2544).

Unfortunately, currently, it seems at least the HTC Kaiser (a.k.a. AT&T Tilt) doesn’t support (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=339745) any kind of hardware acceleration. Currently, all it does is software-only acceleration not taking advantage of the built-in hardware support at all.

This is certainly bad news. We can only hope either Qualcomm or HTC enables the access of the 3D accelerator to applications.

In the above-linked thread (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=339745), I’ve asked the XDA-Devs folks to post (as I’ve also did with the O2 XDA Flame ones) to test whether ANY of the games / emulators listed as 3D accelerator-capable (see their list in the already-linked Flame article (http://www.pocketpcmag.com/blogs/index.php?blog=3&p=2116&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1)) run and make use of the 3D acceleration. (No need to test the multimedia decoding: I already know it doesn’t work).

If you do have a Qualcomm-based handset (in addition to the Kaiser, for example, the HTC s730) and would like to contribute to enabling 3D / multimedia support, make sure you join us HERE (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=339745) to share your experience.

Finally, if you work for Qualcomm and/or HTC, please PLEASE do something to cure these problems. A major selling point of the Kaiser (or, for that matter, ANY Qualcomm-based Windows Mobile handset) is the (promised) 3D and multimedia decoding support. We DO need it. We DO want to run 3D games, we DO want to have multimedia (video) players NOT chewing through our batteries, we DO want to run emulators at a decent speed. Do look at Nokia and Sony-Ericsson. They’ve been using 3D accelerators in their models for quite some time and they DO support it via both native and Java apps.