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VMware Releases The XA Gallium3D State Tracker

Mesa

Published on 15 June 2011 08:13 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
5 Comments

Hurra! A new Gallium3D state tracker was just released! But it's not the state tracker for OpenCL support, VDPAU or VA-API encoding/decoding, or anything else like that, but rather it's for something new: the XA State Tracker. This state tracker provides a new means of X.Org Acceleration (hence the "XA" name) and was developed by VMware.

Yes, there is already the Xorg state tracker in Mesa for providing 2D EXA acceleration along with X-Video acceleration, but this new XA state tracker hopes to eventually replace this older state tracker for X acceleration purposes.

VMware developed this new state tracker (and they also wrote the Xorg state tracker too) as part of overhauling their virtual graphics driver. The Xorg state tracker would not die, but would be re-tooled back to a module configuration to handle a generic "xf86-video-modesetting" DDX.

VMware developed this new state tracker, which is also based upon the Xorg state tracker acceleration code, but to better deal with versioning between the different X/Mesa/KMS interfaces. So what's new to this XA state tracker is versioning support, surface functionality (allows for a basic DRI2 implementation), and YUV blits for textured X-Video. Also planned is X Render compositing support, solid fills with ROP functionality, and copies with ROP functionality and format conversion and re-interpretation.

Obviously, VMware designed this XA state tracker for use by the "vmwgfx" on their VMware-virtualized guest operating systems. Thanks, however, to the Gallium3D driver architecture, this state tracker can be adapted to support the other Intel, ATI/AMD, and NVIDIA drivers too.

More information can be found in the XA state tracker announcement by Thomas Hellstrom. For now this state tracker is living in the xa_branch of Mesa, so it will not likely be merged prior to the Mesa 7.11 release next month.

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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