While the OpenCL enablement process for the open-source GPU drivers isn't over yet, there's a big accomplishment today: the "Clover" OpenCL state tracker for Gallium3D has finally been merged to Mesa Git master.
While the Intel Linux graphics developers have postponed the OpenGL 3.1 support until probably next year, the Intel Windows driver developers have now managed OpenGL 4.0 support, which compliments the OpenCL 1.1 support on Ivy Bridge -- another feature not found at this point in the Intel Linux GPU driver.
The release plans for Mesa 8.1 and Mesa 8.2 have been proposed. Unfortunately if you were hoping to see OpenGL 3.1 compliance in this open-source graphics driver library this summer, it looks like that won't come until 2013 and support for newer OpenGL specifications are even further out.
Mainline Mesa Git can now be built with the AMD R600 Gallium3D LLVM shader compiler back-end available.
LLVM 3.1 is set to be released next month but will it offer up any performance improvements when paired with the open-source Mesa Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver for CPU-based OpenGL support? Here's some new benchmarks that were conducted over the weekend.
The OpenCL support work for the open-source Linux graphics drivers with the Clover state tracker and other compute infrastructure prerequisites have moved a step closer to being merged into the mainline Mesa repository.
The Gallium3D compute infrastructure, which is the underlying work for supporting OpenCL over this open-source graphics driver architecture, is on approach for landing in the very near future. This has been one damn good day for open-source Linux graphics drivers following the earlier Nouveau surprise announcements.
One of the Gallium3D drivers yet not fully supporting the OpenGL 3.0 specification is the LLVMpipe software rasterizer. However, if you're curious of what's left before this CPU-based graphics driver can handle GL3, here's a list.
Besides the recent talk about using Gallium3D's LLVMpipe for Mozilla Firefox, there's another interesting technical discussion happening now about using Mesa on the web to emulate the full OpenGL API using the WebGL API.
Benoit Jacob of Mozilla is looking at the possibility of using Mesa's LLVMpipe Gallium3D driver as a means of WebGL software rendering within Firefox.
With nearly one month having passed since the release of the highly-anticipated Mesa 8.0, where have you come to realize not full satisfaction with this open-source graphics driver library? What would you like to see improved with the next release, Mesa 8.1?
Piglit, the OpenGL conformance test for Mesa, may see some improvements this summer thanks to Google's Summer of Code initiative. In particular, there might be OpenCL support.
When running some tests on the latest Mesa 8.1-devel Gallium3D code-base for the "R600" Radeon Gallium3D driver, I was surprised by some of the results.
After looking at the merges that went into the major Mesa 8.0 release, Ian Romanick has called for some changes in handling the merging of feature work for future versions of Mesa.
Here's another reason to celebrate today besides the release of Wayland 0.85: Mesa 8.0 has been officially released! Mesa 8.0 is what brings OpenGL 3.0 compliance to several open-source graphics drivers, advances the Gallium3D architecture, brings many new features, and a heck of a lot of other changes that materialized over the past six months.
Marek Olšák, the well-known independent contributor to Mesa that's made a great deal of enhancements to the Radeon driver stack over the past few years, has a new patch-set. The latest patch-set he published last night cleans up the R600g driver and reworks its cache flushing code. This patch-set affects more than 2,000 lines of code, which is significant for this open-source Gallium3D driver.
Marek Olšák has made another exciting commit to the Mesa mainline Git repository this weekend... What he's accomplished now is making it possible to successfully advertise OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 support within the R600 Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 2000 series and later.
While Mesa/Gallium3D is still a ways off from fully supporting the Unigine Engine's advanced OpenGL 3/4 renderer with decent frame-rates, there is work both by Mesa and the Unigine Corp developers to better this open-source graphics support.
Now that Mesa is beginning to catch-up with support for newer versions of OpenGL and the OpenGL performance is slowly improving, with more games and applications beginning to work on this open-source graphics driver stack as a result, the need for application workarounds is becoming more prevalent.
There's an update to the ongoing X.Org Endless Vacation of Code work, which is currently funding a developer to work on the OpenCL upbringing within the open-source world for graphics drivers. The latest work going on has been redesigning and largely rewriting the Clover state tracker that will provide the OpenCL support to Gallium3D graphics drivers.
On Sunday there was a new RFC patch-set by Tom Stellard of AMD with a new TGSI to LLVM conversion interface. The AMD R600 Gallium3D driver with its LLVM shader back-end was also updated, which is a prerequisite to OpenCL support.
On Sunday morning there were a number of video-related commits to Mesa for H.264 Gallium3D by AMD's Christian König.
Continuing in the coverage of the soon-to-be-out Mesa 8.0, here are some benchmarks of the CPU-based LLVMpipe software driver for Gallium3D.
While Mesa 8.0 has a lot to like about it from advertised OpenGL 3.0 support to performance improvements and new Gallium3D features, there are also several shortcomings of this major Mesa release for open-source graphics drivers.
While OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 support in Mesa 8.0 has been what's talked about lately for this open-source graphics library to be released next month, there's a lot of other improvements too in Mesa 8.0 for those of you using the open-source graphics drivers under Linux.
Mesa, the heart of the open-source 3D graphics drivers for Linux, will see its 8.0 release in February with OpenGL 3.0 compliance.
It turns out that a developer is bringing Mesa's Gallium3D driver support to Haiku -- the operating system that seeks to re-implement BeOS as open-source -- per an outstanding monetary bounty.
The Mesa Softpipe driver is now getting close to handling OpenGL 3.0 support for the Mesa 8.0 release, which is expected to be branched next week.
For those not paying attention to the Mesa Git repository, Ian Romanick has landed more OpenGL 3.0 support work into the open-source code-base.
Here's one of the ways that Phoronix finds the performance regressions within the Mesa / Gallium3D drivers in a very easy way.
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