Intel's Ian Romanick began last year working on a new GLSL compiler for Mesa, but those plans were abandoned due to a lack of time and the overwhelming challenge. Instead, Ian began focusing on optimizing the IR (Intermediate Representation) used by Mesa in its OpenGL support and then generating the final machine code.
There are quite a number of changes in store for Mesa 7.6, such as new state trackers for Gallium3D, other Gallium3D-specific improvements, optimized IR, and many changes to the different Mesa 3D drivers. Adding to that list, the open-source ATI R300+ driver has just picked up support for Vertex Buffer Objects and Occlusion Queries.
With the official documentation for the Gallium3D driver architecture being a bit dated, Corbin Simpson (a student X.Org developer that has largely been working on the Gallium3D driver for ATI R300 class hardware) set out to improve the situation. On the X.Org Wiki is now a Gallium3D status page that shows the current status of Gallium3D state trackers and pipes. There is also a feature matrix showing the current status for most of the available hardware drivers.
Just about three weeks ago the AMD developers working on the open-source ATI drivers had reached the milestone in their open-source 3D support for the R600/700 GPUs of having glxgears running on these two latest generations of ATI graphics processors. glxgears running itself isn't much, but it's an important step. Last night, AMD's Alex Deucher is now reporting a new milestone and one that is certainly interesting for a large number of users, that is Compiz is running!
Beyond the news of a new Radeon shader compiler for Mesa and Gallium3D, there is some other Mesa news this morning too, which is both good and bad. Intel's Ian Romanick has announced on his blog that his new GLSL (GL Shading Language) compiler for Mesa was doomed for failure and as a result it's pretty much off of the table right now. Rather than continuing in this path, he has come up with a new plan for optimizing the open-source support.
While Gallium3D is gaining a lot of momentum and has picked up a number of new state trackers (OpenVG, OpenGL ES, and OpenCL and OpenGL 3.1 is coming soon) and features (i.e. network debugging support) in recent months, there is still a lot of work left before this architecture will enter the limelight. Gallium3D can be found in Mesa 7.5 but it's not ready for end-users since the hardware drivers are still lacking. It's not an easy, straight port of the existing Mesa "classic" drivers over to bringing them into a Gallium3D driver.
After being in development for a number of months and being challenged by a few delays, Mesa 7.5 was officially released last night. What's most significant about this milestone is that it's the first release to include the Gallium3D architecture. The Gallium3D drivers are still incomplete and there are many state trackers to be added, but this code for the next-generation Linux graphics card drivers is now living in mainline Mesa.
Kristian Høgsberg, the Red Hat developer largely responsible for DRI2 and various other X.Org innovations, had started the Wayland display server project last year to leverage new technologies like kernel mode-setting and the Graphics Execution Manager. While there is not much to report on with Wayland since our last update, one of the components used by Wayland is Eagle, another Kristian Høgsberg project.
The release of Mesa 7.5.0, which is the first version of this open-source 3D stack to include support for Gallium3D, is running a bit behind schedule. Fortunately, however, Brian Paul has pushed out what is the fourth (and final) release candidate for the 7.5 series. There isn't anything too exciting in this release compared to Mesa 7.5 RC3 that arrived earlier this month, but just more fixes.
Last month we were excited over the release of a OpenVG state tracker and OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 state trackers for Gallium3D along with confirmation that OpenCL and OpenGL 3.1 state trackers are under development. Neither of these new state trackers have yet to arrive, but just committed to the Mesa repository is a new Gallium3D driver. However, before leaping for joy, this is not a new hardware GPU driver for a NVIDIA or ATI/AMD graphics card, but is rather just being referred to as the "identity" driver.
While Mesa 7.5 will be out very soon and there are already features in the pipe for Mesa 7.6 (like the OpenVG and OpenGL ES state trackers for Gallium3D), a final point release in the Mesa 7.4 series is now out in the wild.
It has been several months coming, but the "radeon-rewrite" driver has been merged into the mainline Mesa code-base in the past hour. Red Hat's David Airlie had been working on the Radeon driver rewrite (a March '09 update) that adds buffer manager to all of the ATI Mesa 3D drivers (going back to the R100/200 series) along with working on support for DRI2 and OpenGL FBOs (Frame Buffer Objects) and other fundamental enhancements. In general the code is also now much cleaner and there are also some other improvements too thanks to patches from other interested developers.
Mesa 7.5 with its Gallium3D love is nearing. In time for some weekend testing, Brian Paul has announced the release of Mesa 7.5 Release Candidate 3. This third test release brings more build and bug fixes with more than 50 commits since Mesa 7.5 RC2 a month ago. In this new release there are fixes throughout the Mesa code-base, but not really any prominent changes. In fact, the Mesa 7.5 RC3 release announcement is just two lines long.
The folks at Tungsten Graphics, which are owned by VMware, have been busy with new software releases so far this summer. Mesa 7.5 is coming along well and the Gallium3D driver architecture is now merged into the Mesa mainline code-base for release with Mesa 7.6. When it comes to Gallium3D an OpenVG state tracker has been released along with two OpenGL ES state trackers to accelerate the OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 APIs. There are also OpenCL and OpenGL 3.1 state trackers under development.
Yesterday afternoon there were two new Gallium3D state trackers released by VMware / Tungsten Graphics for OpenGL ES 1.1 and ES 2.0 support. With these new state trackers there is now OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 acceleration for any graphics hardware that has a Gallium3D driver. The OpenGL ES state trackers came just weeks after the release of an OpenVG state tracker.
Just minutes after announcing Mesa 7.5 Release Candidate 2, Brian Paul has announced that he is in the process of pushing out Gallium3D state trackers for OpenGL ES 1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0. These two new state trackers for this forthcoming Linux graphics architecture are coming just two weeks after an OpenVG state tracker was released for accelerating this other Khronos API.
The second release candidate for the forthcoming release of Mesa 7.5 is now available. The first release candidate arrived merely a week ago, but RC2 brings a couple more fixes to the table. There is an ATI R300 series fix, a few fixes for the Intel 3D driver, and Mesa has a fix for a texture memory leak.
Mesa 7.5 was supposed to be released in early April, but just a few days before that release the plans had changed. David Airlie really wanted to get his Radeon driver rewrite merged sooner rather than later, and some other changes were pending that also held up the Mesa 7.5 release.
Yesterday we shared the exciting news that an OpenVG state tracker was coming quite quickly to the Gallium3D architecture for providing hardware-acceleration to this 2D vector graphics drawing API commonly used with mobile devices. This hour the OpenVG 1.0 state tracker was committed to the Mesa code-base.
Zack Rusin, a well known employee of Tungsten Graphics (well, VMware), has announced quite the present for Mesa developers and those looking forward to the widespread adoption of the Gallium3D graphics driver architecture. Tomorrow he will be pushing out perhaps the most interesting state tracker yet, one for OpenVG.
It was just three months ago that Mesa 7.3 was released and then work on stabilizing this graphics stack to form Mesa 7.4 began. When the development began on Mesa 7.5, the Gallium3D architecture was merged to master. This work soon will appear in a released version of Mesa.
In late December AMD had released open-source R600/700 3D code and a month later they released the 3D documentation that covers these Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards. The initial code drop didn't do much good for end-users as they couldn't do much more than render a couple triangles, but over the past few months the open-source developers have been working on the proper Mesa support for the R600/700 graphics cards in a private code repository. Now this code may finally be pushed out to the general public in the near future.
Just a bit more than two months have passed since Mesa 7.3 was released (and about one week since the first 7.4 release candidate), but this evening Brian Paul announced the final release of Mesa 7.4. This new Mesa release incorporates bug-fixes since the 7.3 release. Mesa 7.3 introduced the 3D component for providing DRI2 support, the Graphics Execution Manager for memory management with supported hardware drivers, and improved support for the GL Shading Language.
It has been a number of months since version 0.2 of Gallium3D was declared, but today Keith Whitwell finally bumped the version to 0.3. While Gallium3D isn't yet in a state for end-users, may changes have went on since the creation of the Gallium3D v0.2 branch. Due to numerous interface changes, the Gallium3D version was bumped.
FreeDesktop.org hacker Zack Rusin has provided an update on his blog about some of his recent activities when it comes to Gallium3D.
Back in February we talked about the work that David Airlie is doing to rewrite the ATI Radeon driver for Mesa. Soon now it looks like this rewritten code may land in the mainline Mesa code-base once a few more items are addressed. The rewrite of this open-source ATI 3D support brings buffer management support for all supported ATI hardware, DRI2, Frame Buffer Objects, and all of this work is a prerequisite for having kernel memory management (such as with GEM).
Mesa 7.3 was released back in January and was branched from the master Git tree so that it can be stabilized further and go on to form Mesa 7.4. Well, nearly three months later, Mesa 7.4 is getting close to being released. On this Friday evening, Brian Paul has announced the first release of Mesa 7.4.
Gallium3D recently landed in Mesa's mainline code-base and work on it continues to move forward in a steadfast manner. Committed to Mesa's master branch last night for Gallium3D were state trackers for Xorg and DRI2.
TTM, or Translation Table Maps, the memory manager developed by Tungsten Graphics, is now dead. TTM has been dwindling away since last year when Intel introduced the Graphics Execution Manager (which has since entered the mainline Linux kernel), but now the code for this memory manager has been dropped from Mesa's Intel driver.
Gallium3D, the 3D graphics driver that has long been in development by Tungsten Graphics, has finally entered the mainline Mesa code-base! Gallium3D has a lot of capabilities and will be of much benefit to Linux desktop users once all 3D drivers have been ported to this new architecture (for more information read our articles or the Tungsten Wiki). We shared yesterday that Gallium3D was in the process of being merged and that is now completed within Mesa's master branch. Gallium3D will now be a feature for Mesa 7.5/7.6.
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