It's been over four months since Mesa 7.1 was released and about three months since Mesa 7.2 (the stabilized version of 7.1), but now Mesa 7.3 is getting primed and ready to enter the limelight. As the first step, Mesa 7.3 Release Candidate 1 will be pushed out shortly.
It's taken an eternity (well, to the Linux community that has been eagerly awaiting code and documentation since very early this year when it was first promised), but it looks like the open-source 3D support for the ATI R600/700 (Radeon HD 2000 through Radeon HD 4000 series) graphics processors may finally be coming soon!
Following last month's release of Mesa 7.1, Tungsten Graphics began working on Mesa 7.2, which is a stabilized version of this OpenGL implementation that had picked up 3D support for the ATI Radeon R500 and Intel GMA 4-Series. Mesa 7.1 also marked the switch to an autoconf build system, GL_EXT_texture_from_pixmap extension for Xlib driver, GLSL support for the Intel 965, and various other improvements.
SGI has announced today announced the release of a new version of the SGI Free Software License B. This software license is now nearly identical to the X11 license in use by X.Org. The GLX API and other GLX extensions are now casted under this revised SGI license. Most importantly, the Free Software Foundation approves this relicensing and they have also received praise from the Khronos Group, the company behind OpenGL. The press release in full can be read at the SGI web-site. This license is more "free", which is good news for the X.Org and Mesa communities.
Released in late August was Mesa 7.1, which was the first release of this open-source OpenGL library with an autoconf-based configuration system, various DRI driver enhancements, GL_EXT_texture_from_pixmap extension for the Xlib driver, GLSL for Intel's 965 Chipset, and ATI R500 series support. This release was also important since it was a prerequisite for the X.Org 7.4 / X Server 1.5.0 release. Out this weekend though is Mesa 7.2 Release Candidate 1.
With the Gallium3D status update provided during XDS 2008 and other recent work for this advanced 3D graphics architecture (such as enhanced debugging capabilities), we were left to wonder where the generic GPU video decoding is at in its implementation. Today we have an answer.
By now most Linux users should have heard of Gallium3D, but if you haven't, it's a new library being developed by Tungsten Graphics. Gallium3D provides a number of significant advantages over the current architecture as it simplifies driver development and makes it very easy for these Gallium3D-powered drivers to support new graphics APIs. There are, however, other advantages to Gallium3D and one of them is the enhanced debugging capabilities.
During FOSDEM this year, Keith Whitwell had provided a status update on Gallium3D and where they were at as of February. However, a lot has changed since then. Today at XDS 2008, Keith has provided a new status update of where they are at with this new driver infrastructure. Below are our notes from this talk as well as the following talk delivered by Tungsten's Jakob Bornecrantz.
Earlier this month we shared that X.Org 7.4 will lose DRI2 support. Direct Rendering Infrastructure 2 (DRI2) was just conceived one year ago and X.Org 7.4 would have been the first release with this technology that allows for directed rendering to redirected windows. DRI2 though was delayed though since it had to be reworked due to Intel switching memory managers from TTM to GEM (Graphics Execution Manager). The first bits of the revised code have now hit the master git tree for Mesa and the X Server.
Tungsten's Brian Paul has today announced the release of Mesa 7.1. New in this open-source library used by Linux graphics drivers for providing OpenGL support is autoconf-based configuration, assorted DRI driver enhancements, reduced dependencies between the X server and Mesa, GL_EXT_texture_from_pixmap extension for Xlib driver, GLSL (GL Shading Language) support for the Intel 965, and ATI Radeon R500 (X1000) series support. Sorry folks, no OpenGL 3.0 support.
Mesa 7.1 has been in development for a number of months already with the first release candidate having come out in May. However, this update to the open-source 3D graphics library has been delaying the release of X.Org 7.4 as it's a dependency for building the X Server. We wish we could tell you Mesa 7.1 was shipping today, but instead we have another release candidate.
Mesa 7.1 Release Candidate 1 was released a month and a half ago, but arriving this afternoon was Mesa 7.1 RC2, which was quickly outdone by Mesa 7.1 RC3. The third release candidate for Mesa 7.1 added in some Makefiles that were missing from the earlier release as well as adding in a new function.
Yet another important release has happened today and that is the availability of Mesa 7.1 Release Candidate 1. As described by Tungsten's Brian Paul in the release announcement, Mesa 7.1 RC1 has a lot of new code, a new build system, and other important work. Mesa 7.1 RC1 can be downloaded from their beta page or can be checked out from their git tree at FreeDesktop.org. This next major release candidate is coming nearly a year after the Mesa 7.0.0 release and it's been about two months since their last minor release (Mesa 7.0.3).
For those interested in some additional weekend reading, Jose Fonseca of Tungsten Graphics has written an introduction on Gallium3D, their newest project that has been receiving a lot of interest by X.Org graphics driver developers. Jose goes over the Gallium3D modules (the state tracker, pipe driver, winsys, and auxillar modules), the dependencies for each module, the interfaces for Gallium3D, and last but not least is a visual representation of the data-flow. There is also other Gallium3D information at Phoronix such as the Q1'08 status update from FOSDEM. This Gallium3D overview can be read here.
While not a major release, this afternoon Brian Paul has released Mesa 7.0.3. This minor update of Mesa 3D has a dozen changes, which mostly come down to bug-fixes. The release notes for Mesa 7.0.3 can be read here. This replaces Mesa 7.0.3 RC3, which was just released three days ago. The source packages for Mesa can be downloaded from Source Forge.
Zack Rusin today has covered on his blog GPGPU and ultimately answers the question as to whether there will be a GPGPU API within the new Gallium3D architecture. GPGPU, or General Purpose computing on GPUs, has been a hot topic as of late with both NVIDIA and ATI/AMD having their own SDK/APIs and the latest graphics cards offering dozens of stream processors. NVIDIA's general purpose technology is CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) while ATI's is called CTM (Close to Metal).
Last Friday Mesa 7.0 had entered the world. While a number of bugs have been corrected since Mesa 6.5.3, what is most interesting with this release is the support for the OpenGL 2.0 / 2.1 API. We've been waiting on this support so that the open-source drivers can take advantage of it and it's now finally available. Some of the bug fixes in Mesa 7.0 include fixing broken functions, adding some missing functions, correcting values, and other fixes. Mesa 7.0 also has some ATI Radeon R300 code clean-ups. The Mesa 7.0 release notes are available here.
After nearly three months since the development release of Mesa 6.5.1, another development release is now out. Mesa 6.5.2 was released last Saturday and brings several exciting changes. It mostly consists of bug-fixes but this development version of Mesa does bring a new DRI memory manager system, new Intel i965 DRI driver, fixes for many of the drivers, and support for OpenGL 2.0/2.1 is nearly complete! The new Mesa DRI memory manager system brings the following features: EXT_framebuffer_objects, render to texture, ARB_pixel_buffer_objects, Accelerated CopyTexSubimage, DrawPixels, ReadPixels, CopyPixels, Accelerated texture uploads from pixel buffer objects, and Potentially texturing directly from the pixel buffer object. This is a very exciting development release for Mesa 3D, and the release notes are available here.
798 Mesa news articles published on Phoronix.