Patents May Cause Issues For OpenGL 3 In Mesa
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 1 October 2009 at 04:32 AM EDT. 50 Comments
While work on OpenGL 3.x support in Mesa has been very slow, many have been looking forward to the day when Gallium3D hardware drivers provide fast acceleration and a OpenGL 3 state tracker to provide this support to all Gallium3D users. Intel though has also been wanting to bring some OpenGL 3 support to the classic Mesa stack. However, at XDC2009, Intel's Ian Romanick has expressed some issues with patents that could inhibit the support.

Patented technologies like floating point textures, render targets, and some compressed formats that are part of core OpenGL 3 is currently the problem. To work around these OpenGL patent issues for Mesa, Ian is looking at possibly making some external libraries, creating a configure switch so the user/vendor can decide on building with patented work or not, and getting the help of the Open Invention Network to address the patent problem.

The notes regarding OpenGL 3 and patents can be found in this Wiki section.

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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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