Intel Is Very Close With Tessellation Shaders For Mesa

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 2 December 2015 at 10:04 PM EST. 26 Comments
Intel has finally published a new patch series for implementing the OpenGL 4.0 tessellation shader support within their Mesa DRI driver. It looks like this code is about ready to be finally mainlined!

Before getting too excited, however, at the moment this OpenGL 4.0 ARB_tessellation_shader is only for Gen 8 graphics and newer -- Broadwell and Skylake. There is work for tessellation support on Ivy Bridge and Haswell with that code being partially done, but there's still GPU hangs to address and more before it will be useful and merged.

The 26 patches published today allow tessellation to work with the Intel driver in titles like Unigine Heaven and Shadow of Mordor. Intel's Kenneth Graunke published the new patches today to the Mesa mailing list.

This new work is sadly weeks too late for making it into Mesa 11.1, which will be officially released later this month. The Intel tessellation shader support won't reach Mesa stable now until the next release that will come around March or April, at which point hopefully they will have implemented ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 too so that the driver can advertise OpenGL 4.1 compliance. After that, the only extension blocking Intel from OpenGL 4.1 and 4.2 support is GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit.
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