Assembly Shader Rework Hitting Mesa Today
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 21 August 2009 at 02:48 PM EDT. 23 Comments
Intel's Ian Romanick began last year working on a new GLSL compiler for Mesa, but those plans were abandoned due to a lack of time and the overwhelming challenge. Instead, Ian began focusing on optimizing the IR (Intermediate Representation) used by Mesa in its OpenGL support and then generating the final machine code.

Ian has been working in a branch of Mesa with what he calls the "Assembly Shader Rework" and rewriting the ARB program parser and adding in support for NVIDIA layered extensions. His hopes were to get most of this ready for Mesa 7.6 and it looks like this will end up working out right on schedule.

Announced today on the mesa3d-dev list is word that Ian will be merging the asm-shader-rework-1 branch into Mesa's mainline Git tree today. In that announcement, he's reporting that some tests have sped up tremendously as a result of this reworked 3D code. So far though this code has just been tested with the software rasterizer and the Intel i965 driver.

Mesa 7.6 is shaping up to be an interesting release with this new work, new Gallium3D state trackers (and even network support), more Radeon 3D features, and many other improvements.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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