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X-Video, EXA Coming Atop Gallium3D

Mesa

Published on 01 September 2009 05:00 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
8 Comments

The Gallium3D driver infrastructure has been about writing a graphics processor driver that is more manageable and efficient by allowing state trackers (that provide features like OpenGL ES and OpenVG support) to be run on any driver that implements this unified API, complete with hardware acceleration. As implied by its name, Gallium3D was started with 3D graphics in mind, but this infrastructure is also working out for non-3D-specific state trackers, like supporting OpenCL. Now though, Gallium3D is picking up support for 2D acceleration (using the EXA API) and for X-Video support.

Nearly a year ago we talked about 2D support as a possibility for Gallium3D by layering it atop the 3D support, but now this is finally becoming a reality. Zack Rusin shared in a blog post that the Xorg/X11 state tracker is emerging -- and if you pay attention to the Mesa Git log you will have noticed a fair amount of activity as of late on st/xorg.

The EXA API is being implemented atop this Xorg state tracker so that any Gallium3D driver can have this 2D acceleration support even without a 2D hardware-specific driver. This Gallium3D state tracker comes with proper X Render support too, which will please many users.

This state tracker is called the Xorg state tracker because it will also be accelerating other parts of X11, particularly X-Video. While X-Video is not nearly as great as VDPAU or even XvMC, it is widely adopted and is an option within most media applications. At the same time, work has also been underway for quite a while on providing a video interface for Gallium3D with generic GPU video decoding.

Kudos to Zack Rusin and the Tungsten Graphics / VMware team on this latest work to provide EXA / X-Video support in Gallium3D.

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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