I am trying to understand the meaning of when someone says that PowerPC 7410 CPU has support for OpenGL based software. Does it mean that there are any specific instruction in its ISA architecture that are good for running OpenGL based software on it? Or does it mean that its Bus architecture is such that OpenGL can work better with it? Or maybe some other criterion that is specially suitable for OpenGL?

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    \$\begingroup\$ OpenGL is for graphics. So I would expect such a statement if the MCU contains a graphics unit and there is software (driver) available that implements the OpenGL API for the graphics unit. The PowerPC 7410 is just a CPU, not a full MCU, and does not include a graphics unit. So such as statement doesn't seem to make sense - unless they have implemented the full OpenGL in software... \$\endgroup\$ – Codo Jul 10 at 9:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Any CPU can support OpenGL, which is just a standard API for rendering graphics. You could implement OpenGL on a 68k if you were not too concerned about performance. Now, some CPU may have specific instructions / processing units that could allow much faster graphics rendering (like SIMD instructions, or even a full-blown GPU). I guess you just fell for some confused marketing talk. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Jul 10 at 10:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ You need to read the documentation to discover the specifics. Also your title is mistaken; the device in question is not an "MCU" At the outside it could be used as the compute core of one, though OpenGL makes little sense in an MCU. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jul 10 at 15:34

PowerPC 7410 CPU (from the PowerPC G4 family) is from 1999.

Graphics boards did not do any triangle point calculations yet, so for OpenGL 3D the CPU has to do a ton of matrix multiplications before handing the triangles/quads off to the gfx board.

The newly included SIMD instructions would accelerate this quite a bit. Other than that this is pure marketing speech.


Generally means it has some level of hardware accelerator for graphics. There are different levels of OpenGL (example: 2D vs. 2D/3D) and different versions. If there isn’t specific graphics coprocessor hardware, there may nevertheless be some instructions or architectural features that OpenGL can take advantage of, which is included in the library supplied for the part. The 7410 has a vector unit, so this is likely what the OpenGL brag is about for this part.

It’s important to understand what your application needs for graphics (starting with which version of OpenGL, what frame rate, what display size) and obtain some benchmarks for the solution you’re considering. Then you can make an informed choice for your system.


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