Intel Enables Tessellation Shader Support In Open-Source Linux Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 22 December 2015 at 09:00 PM EST. 34 Comments
As an exciting early Christmas present for Intel Linux users, ARB_tessellation_shader support has landed in Mesa Git as needed by OpenGL 4!

Intel OTC engineer Kenneth Graunke landed the last of the tessellation shader work this evening into Mesa Git, which resulted him enabling ARB_tessellation_shader.

Before getting too excited, the ARB_tessellation_shader support is only being turned on for now with Broadwell "Gen 8" graphics and newer. Support for Ivy Bridge, Bay Trail, and Haswell is forthcoming. Intel developers have patches for these older graphics generations, but there are "a lot" of GPU hangs still to solve before they enable the extension for pre-Broadwell hardware.

On Gen8 and newer, the Intel OpenGL tessellation shader support for their Linux open-source driver is known to work at least for Piglit, Tessmark, Unigine Heaven, Shadow of Mordor, and GRID Autosport.

This tessellation shader support in Mesa Git now just leaves Intel developers to finish up ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 support before being able to declare OpenGL 4.0 compliance -- at least for Broadwell HD/Iris Graphics and newer. After that is the related ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit extension before they will have OpenGL 4.1 and 4.2 specifications implemented.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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