A Gallium3D State Tracker For Vulkan?
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 17 February 2016 at 11:28 AM EST. 17 Comments
MESA --
It didn't take long after yesterday's Vulkan 1.0 release for a question to be asked whether there could be a Gallium3D Vulkan state tracker developed.

The question was immediately responded to by David Airlie who commented that Gallium3D is higher-level than Vulkan, so such a state tracker wouldn't really work out, at least in Gallium's current form. Dave mentioned though that there could be refactoring going on to share pieces of Gallium3D drivers into shared compiler code.

Jose Fonseca of VMware commented with the idea of a "Germanium" abstraction that would be a superset of Vulkan with a similar API and exposing additional state that was found in OpenGL but not with Vulkan. It would make things easier to implement OpenGL.

Jason Ekstrand of Intel who is one of the main developers of the Mesa-based Vulkan driver brought up a few ideas of implementing OpenGL on top of Vulkan, but not without some obstacles.

Long story short, in its current form Gallium3D wouldn't really work for Vulkan, but there are different possible paths forward in the future should any talented developers find themselves with extra time and in need of an interesting experimental project.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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