Open-Source AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Preparing Mesh Shader Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 6 June 2022 at 01:58 PM EDT. Add A Comment
In addition to Mesa's Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver prepared for mesh shading with an upcoming Vulkan mesh shader extension besides NVIDIA's NV_mesh_shader, it looks like AMD will be punctually supporting the cross-vendor mesh shader extension too.

AMD has been readying mesh shader support changes into LLPC, its LLVM-based Pipeline Compiler used by the AMDVLK open-source Vulkan driver.

As pointed out in this week's LLVM GPU News, AMD has been preparing a number of merge requests to LLPC for mesh shaders.

Various merge requests have been hitting the LLPC tree to prepare this shader compiler back-end to properly support mesh shaders. This branch is where they have been staging their mesh shader changes before merging into LLPC.

Given the timing of this AMD work for AMDVLK/LLPC and Mesa's RADV also readied for mesh shaders, it's safe to assume that quite soon the Vulkan WG at Khronos will be issuing a new spec update with this much anticipated mesh shader support. Mesh shaders combine vertex and primitive processing as a fundamental change to the graphics rendering pipeline. NVIDIA has been supporting mesh shaders since the Turing GPUs with their NV_mesh_shader extension while Radeon RX 6000 "RDNA2" GPUs also have the hardware support for mesh shaders as do Intel Arc Graphics "Alchemist" GPUs and thus now nice multi-vendor support finally materializing.
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