HasVK Trims Some Fat For This Old Intel Hardware Vulkan Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 2 December 2022 at 05:55 AM EST. 20 Comments
With the new Mesa 22.3 release one of the changes for vintage hardware users is the introduction of "HasVK" as a Vulkan driver forked from Intel's ANV codebase.

Up to this point the Intel ANV open-source Vulkan driver has supported Intel Gen7 graphics and onward up through their latest DG2/Alchemist Arc Graphics, but with this driver split the new "HasVK" code is responsible for Gen7/Gen8 graphics while the Skylake "Gen9" and newer graphics is the focus of the ANV driver.

Punting the oldest Gen7/Gen8 hardware support to the forked driver makes for easing the maintenance burden and development moving forward with ANV given the stark hardware differences and being able to focus just on the newer Intel graphics generations. Vulkan support on Gen7/Gen8 hardware isn't too useful either and it's not like they can handle much in the way of integrated graphics gaming with modern titles.

As a reminder, this Gen7/Gen8 HasVK driver affects Ivy Bridge / Haswell / Broadwell processors. Since the HasVK split, there hasn't been much activity on this driver as is to be expected with Intel engineers focused on modern and future generations of their graphics processors.

Hitting Mesa 23.0-devel today though is a clean-up to the codebase with dropping a lot of code unused by the older Gen7/Gen8 targets. 18 patches were merged that drop various features specific to the Skylake/Gen9 graphics and newer as well as some DG2 discrete graphics specific memory. HasVK has also stripped out support for device local memory since that is obviously only specific to the newer Intel discrete graphics cards. Plus other features like bindless image support not handled by Gen7/Gen8 hardware can also be stripped.

This merged code has now lightened the HasVK driver by 3.5k lines of unnecessary code.

Meanwhile the Intel ANV Vulkan driver has continued seeing more work landing for Mesa 23.0-devel including VK_KHR_ray_tracing_maintenance1 now being enabled for the Vulkan ray-tracing support to enjoy with Arc Graphics hardware. In case you missed it from earlier in the week see my fresh Arc Graphics A750/A770 Linux benchmarking.
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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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