AMD Polaris Doesn't Support ETC2 Texture Compression

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 13 April 2016 at 11:25 AM EDT. 34 Comments
Well this is surprising and unfortunate: it appears that AMD's next-generation Polaris GPUs don't support the royalty-free ETC2 texture compression.

Recent Intel hardware supports ETC2 and NVIDIA's latest hardware also supports ETC2. On the AMD side, the forthcoming "Stoney" APUs brought ETC2 support to the open-source driver stack.

While the forthcoming AMD Stoney APUs have ETC2 support, the upcoming desktop "Polaris" GPUs do not.
This patch today by AMD's Marek Olšák for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver no longer exposes ETC2 on Polaris and his commit message reads "not supported."

It's sad that AMD desktop GPUs aren't yet offering ETC2 where as other vendors are, ETC2 is supported with the latest OpenGL and OpenGL ES specifications, and ETC2 along with ASTC are the most prominent hopes for widespread, royalty-free texture compression to replace the notorious S3TC texture compression.

Update: Marek at AMD would like to clarify that while the Polaris hardware doesn't natively support ETC2, Gallium3D drivers have a software fallback for converting ETC2 compressed data to other formats supported by the GPU.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week