Modern Intel Gallium3D Driver Still Being Toyed With
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 18 May 2013 at 07:56 AM EDT. 28 Comments
While it's not the default Linux graphics driver for Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge hardware, the "ilo" independently-developed Gallium3D driver for modern Intel graphics hardware continues to be developed.

Since last December there's been a Sandy/Ivy Bridge Gallium3D driver developed by Chia-I Wu. The work mostly comes as an experiment or toy, but last month it was merged to mainline Mesa.

While this driver, which was renamed to "ilo" from "i965g" or "i965g-next" to avoid confusion with Intel's official Mesa (classic) DRI Driver, it's still being developed with new commits almost daily.

For those not following Mesa Git on a daily basis, there's a stream of new activity since the driver's introduction last month. This work can be seen by searching for ilo. Among the advancements made in just the past week for this Intel Gallium3D driver include support for stencil resources on Ivy Bridge and later, support for hardware primitive restart, new pipe format support, support for mapping with a staging system buffer, and various clean-ups and code reworking/refactoring.

New benchmarks of this alternative Sandy/Ivy Bridge open-source Linux graphics driver will come when it's been developed further.

Separately, for those curious about the recent prospects of the older i915 Gallium3D driver possibly becoming the default over Intel's i915 classic driver for supporting up through i945 IGPs, there isn't any new information. Intel ended up bringing OpenGL 2.1 to classic i915 to compete with that older Gallium3D driver, so it seems they aren't quite ready to abandon their older code-base quite yet.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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