1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

"Mega Drivers" Being Proposed For A Faster Mesa

Intel

Published on 08 August 2013 06:59 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
32 Comments

Eric Anholt of Intel is currently working on some experimental Mesa code for shipping "Mega drivers", or building all of the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers together as a single shared object library file. There's some promise to this mega drivers concept in enhancing performance due to compiler/linker optimizations.

As it stands right now, a lot of shared Mesa code is built as a shared library (libdricore), which the independent Mesa/Gallium3D drivers link against for sharing common code paths. This is a change that was done by Canonical two years ago in having this single shared library for saving space on the Ubuntu CDs.

While it saves a few megabytes of space, having this shared Mesa library between drivers ends up requiring all of Mesa's symbols be public. All the public symbols could mean a program calling one of the Mesa symbols or even overriding one with their own code.

In clearing up the public symbol problem, Eric Anholt has been experimenting with "mega drivers" where the drivers are built together as a single .so file. The win in this case is that by building all the code together, there's new compiler optimizations that can be tapped and allowing link-time optimizations that aren't possible with the shared library approach.

Eric has stumbled across a few problems so far in the mega drivers implementation, but he's continuing to experiment with new code. In terms of the benefits making it worthwhile, Anholt says, "Initial performance results: Enabling LTO on a dricore build, I saw a -0.798709% +/- 0.333703% (n=30) effect on INTEL_NO_HW=1 cairo-gl runtime. On a megadrivers+LTO compared to non-megadrivers, non-LTO, the difference was -6.35008% +/- 0.675067% (n=10). I think this is definitely promising."

Eric says he will be talking at DebConf about this Mesa Mega Drivers design and also some ideas for how to get graphics driver updates out faster. More details can be found from his blog 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 .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Sub-$20 802.11n USB WiFi Adapter That's Linux Friendly
  2. The Lenovo T450s Is Working Beautifully With Linux
  3. Linux 4.0 SSD EXT4 / Btrfs / XFS / F2FS Benchmarks
  4. Linux 4.0 Hard Drive Comparison With Six File-Systems
  5. Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Broadwell Preview
  6. How Open-Source Allowed Valve To Implement VULKAN Much Faster On The Source 2 Engine
Latest Linux News
  1. AMD Open-Sources "Addrlib" From Catalyst
  2. AMD Releases New "AMDGPU" Linux Kernel Driver & Mesa Support
  3. A Gigabyte Sandy/Ivy Bridge Motherboard Now Handled By Coreboot
  4. Linux 3.16 Through Linux 4.0 Performance Benchmarks
  5. Intel's Windows Driver Now Supports OpenGL 4.4, Linux Driver Still With OpenGL 3.3
  6. DRM Graphics Updates Sent In For The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  7. More eBPF Improvements Heading To Linux 4.1
  8. LLDB Is Getting Into Shape For Linux 64-bit Debugging
  9. Wine-Staging 1.7.41 Works On Improved Debugging Support
  10. GNOME 3.18 Release Schedule: 23 September Release
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Nouveau: NVIDIA's New Hardware Is "VERY Open-Source Unfriendly"
  2. LibreOffice 4.5 Bumped To Become LibreOffice 5.0
  3. Linux Audio Is Being Further Modernized With The 4.1 Kernel
  4. KDBUS Is Taking A Lot Of Heat, Might Be Delayed From Mainline Linux Kernel
  5. VirtualBox 5.0 Beta 2 Released
  6. ZFS & Libdvdcss Should Soon Be In Debian
  7. Ubuntu 15.04 Now Under Final Freeze
  8. EXT4 In Linux 4.1 Adds File-System Level Encryption