Intel Continues Making Preparations For Ray-Tracing With Their Linux Graphics Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 5 December 2021 at 09:57 AM EST. 16 Comments
Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver developers continue making their driver preparations for being able to accommodate Vulkan ray-tracing with upcoming Xe HPG graphics having ray-tracing hardware capabilities.

For over one year now Intel has been making preparations for Vulkan ray-tracing with their open-source Linux graphics driver stack. The big feature addition has resulted in a variety of driver changes and they are inching towards the milestone of having things working.

The latest merge request landing in Mesa is handling of ray queries for SPIR-V and the NIR intermediate representation used by their ANV Vulkan driver.

The SPIR-V and NIR ray query intrinsics are in place, a ray query optimization pass for NIR, and other work around ray queries. SPIR-V's ray query extension is for adding ray query objects that enable ray traversal for any shader stage.

This latest ray-tracing work comes just days after Intel's driver stack also has mesh and task shaders now working for Mesa 22.0. It will be interesting to see what other feature work lands in the coming weeks and just how good of shape Mesa 22.0 and the latest upstream kernel will be for the Intel Arc "Alchemist" graphics cards once released around Q1 next year.
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