Mesa Can Do EXT_texture_compression_RGTC
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 25 February 2011 at 03:08 PM EST. 16 Comments
In Mesa's quest to catch up to the proprietary Linux drivers (and the graphics drivers available under Windows), they are now a tiny bit closer. David Airlie has announced on the Mesa mailing list that he has implemented support for the EXT_texture_compression_RGTC extension into Mesa.

The EXT_texture_compression_RGTC extension work is supported in core Mesa, the software Rasterizer, and with Gallium3D (works with the ATI R600g driver). This compression code is ported from Roland's DXTn texture work. While this is not the S3TC texture compression work, this OpenGL extension at least doesn't appear to be covered by any patents or other protected intellectual property.

The specification for EXT_texture_compression_RGTC can be found on the OpenGL registry. This extension is not new but was approved back in 2008 and was written against OpenGL 2.0.
This extension introduces four new block-based texture compression formats suited for unsigned and signed red and red-green textures (hence the name "rgtc" for Red-Green Texture Compression).

Too bad though it will still be a long time before Mesa reaches any sort of parity in terms of OpenGL extension support or even provides proper OpenGL 3.x/4.x support, with the Gallium3D/Mesa drivers still effectively living in the OpenGL 2.1 world.

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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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