Radeon Linux Graphics Stack, RadeonSI Shaders Update From FOSDEM 2018

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 3 February 2018 at 12:47 PM EST. 30 Comments
In addition to the Nouveau driver crew talking about their Vulkan plans and other open-source work, Nicolai Hähnle of AMD represented the company's work on their Radeon Linux graphics driver stack(s) and the work they have going on for improving their GPU driver support.

Hähnle's presentation won't be too surprising if you are a regular Phoronix reader. If not you really should be reading the site daily for staying up to date with all of the Linux graphics news and more! The milestones talked about include the mainlining of AMDGPU DC, AMDVLK being open-sourced, the new unified AMDGPU-PRO package, OpenGL 4.5 conformance, and zero-day open-source hardware support. There are some nice graphics for those still trying to decipher the Radeon Linux graphics driver stack:

And a visual comparison of the three Radeon Vulkan Linux driver options currently available:

Nicolai did comment on some of the future plans for the official AMDVLK Vulkan driver. Plans include more LLPC (LLVM) optimizations for better shader compiler performance, CPU-limited performance optimizations, future GPU support, continued Vulkan support/extensions, Wayland support, and improvements for handling external contributions.

The slide deck in full can be found here for those not in attendance at FOSDEM 2018 in Brussels.

Nicolai also had a follow-up presentation on the status of shaders in RadeonSI and their ongoing support for the NIR intermediate representation. The slides do mention "why NIR" and more for those frequently debating the merits of this approach in the forums. Nicolai believes the NIR back-end is close to feature parity but more performance work is needed. The Radeon NIR/shader presentation can be checked out here.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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