Intel i915 Gallium3D Driver Continues Advancing
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 8 October 2011 at 07:29 AM EDT. 9 Comments
The Intel "i915" Gallium3D driver continues to advance thanks to love from Google. A new Intel employee is now even contributing to this unofficial driver too.

Over the summer we have seen a number of changes to the Intel Gallium3D driver that supports the older i915/i945 era hardware. This driver is not officially supported by Intel, but Google's after it for use in their Chromebooks as their netbooks can do better since this Gallium3D driver has faster CPU-based code generation of vertex shaders than the classic Intel DRI driver. The work has mostly been done by St├ęphane Marchesin, the former Nouveau driver project lead who is now part of Google's Chromium team.

Good progress has been made to the i915g driver over the past few months, with before that the driver was largely entering an un-maintained state. Marchesin continues to work on this Gallium3D driver and in August and September there were a number of commits to further enhance the driver. In late August, the i915g driver was also made to work with Gallium3D / Mesa on Android. As of earlier this week, the i915g driver announces OpenGL 2.0 support. Most of the other work is bug-fixes and implementing greater functionality.

Joining the Intel Gallium3D driver is now Daniel Vetter. This Swiss developer has been contributing to the graphics stack for the past year or two and last month was hired by Intel. As of yesterday, he's begun committing to i915g.

The latest i915g driver work in Mesa mainline master can be found via this CGit log page.

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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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