Intel's Lead Developer Of Their Linux Vulkan Driver Has Left The Company

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 19 December 2021 at 06:00 AM EST. 12 Comments
Coming as a surprise to end out the week is confirmation that the lead developer and architect for Intel's Linux Vulkan driver has left the company.

Jason Ekstrand who has been heavily involved with Intel's Vulkan open-source Linux driver announced on Friday that he is leaving the company. Ekstrand has been the "lead developer" of the Intel "ANV" Mesa Vulkan driver since it was started with fellow developers at the time like Kristian Hoegsberg. Ekstrand has been instrumental to the success of Intel's open-source Linux Vulkan driver and continued improvements.

Granted, at this stage Intel has a very large open-source Linux graphics team and moving forward there are other developers to fill in his shoes, but nevertheless a surprise to see him leave... Especially with Intel Arc "DG2 / Alchemist" graphics cards coming out next quarter and other excitement in 2022 around Intel's graphics architecture.

He hasn't publicly indicated to which company he is heading beginning at the end of January, but has indicated he will still be involved with The Khronos Group / Vulkan. The most obvious choices would be NVIDIA or AMD or Google, but we'll see in the weeks ahead as it could also be an organization like Red Hat.

Jason Ekstrand as of writing has made 6,916 commits to Mesa that puts him in fourth place for the most commits to Mesa. He follows Mesa creator Brian Paul, AMD Radeon OpenGL developer Marek Olsak, and Emma Anholt formerly-Intel / formerly-Broadcom / now-Google for the most contributions. Making his overall Mesa commit count even more impressive is that he just jumped onto the open-source scene in the past decade.

Jason's contributions to the Intel ANV Vulkan driver and other areas of Mesa like NIR were terrific and will be very interesting to see where he is heading and what he will next be working on in the Linux graphics space.
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