What Would You Like To See Out Of Mesa 8.1?
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 27 February 2012 at 06:39 PM EST. 25 Comments
With nearly one month having passed since the release of the highly-anticipated Mesa 8.0, where have you come to realize not full satisfaction with this open-source graphics driver library? What would you like to see improved with the next release, Mesa 8.1?

Mesa 8.1 will not be released for another five or six months, but there's already lots building up in Git on a daily basis. There's already some Radeon Gallium3D improvements to note, more Intel Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge fixes, and various Mesa core enhancements.

Among some of the items I would like to see out of Mesa 8.1 include:

- The landing of OpenCL support... Via merging the years-old "Clover" branch, the Nouveau OpenCL support, and ideally the yet-to-be-out Radeon OpenCL support. This would also mean merging the Radeon LLVM-backend for its Gallium3D driver.

- Radeon HD 7000 series support. If AMD doesn't deliver its new Gallium3D driver supporting the "Southern Islands" support within the next half-year this will be a huge disappointment. Fortunately, the new open-source hardware support might be coming soon.

- NVIDIA GeForce 600 "Kelper" series support. NVIDIA will be launching their next-generation Kepler graphics processor soon. NVIDIA is unlikely to change their (non-existent) open-source strategy in the next few months so it's left up to the Nouveau community to reverse-engineer the next-generation graphics support. Whether or not any Gallium3D GeForce 600 series support will be usable in the next six months is up in the air, but chances are it will take until Mesa 8.2 or later.

- Performance improvements to the Mesa hardware drivers are always nice.

- Initial support for Intel Haswell support (Intel's 2013 CPUs) will happen for Mesa 8.1. This support will still be on their classic DRI driver.

- Greater OpenGL 3/4 compatibility. While OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 support is basically in place with Mesa 8.0, there's still several newer revisions to OpenGL and the OpenGL Shading Language to be addressed. By Mesa 8.1 it looks like Intel hopes to have a large portion of the OpenGL 3.1 specification covered.

- Addressing of the other eight shortcomings of Mesa 8.0.

What else are your hopes for Mesa 8.1? Share your thoughts in the forums.

About The Author
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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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