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Firefox May Support LLVMpipe For WebGL

Mesa

Published on 04 March 2012 12:25 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
9 Comments

Benoit Jacob of Mozilla is looking at the possibility of using Mesa's LLVMpipe Gallium3D driver as a means of WebGL software rendering within Firefox.

This Mozilla developer is currently investigating the graphics driver black-list for Firefox and deciding which drivers should be allowed for future Firefox releases. With that said, he's also looking at possible enabling LLVMpipe as a means of Gallium3D software rendering within Firefox.

LLVMpipe is the the Gallium3D Mesa driver that takes advantage of LLVM for providing CPU-based optimizations as a much better means of software rendering on the CPU than the Mesa classic software rasterizer or Gallium3D's "Softpipe" alternative. LLVMpipe is able to take advantage of multiple CPU cores, the latest CPU instruction sets, and other processor features.

This open-source graphics driver is still far from ideal for running games, but it can work for some with the latest and greatest Intel/AMD processors. LLVMpipe though is sufficient for running GNOME Shell. For basic WebGL within Firefox, it will likely work out quite okay too.

However, due to the recent EGL upbringing and other work, this enabling of LLVMpipe inside Firefox would likely be limited to use on Mesa 8.0 and later.

Part of the discussion can be found from this mailing list post.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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