An On-Disk Shader Cache Revised For Intel's Mesa Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 29 April 2016 at 10:19 AM EDT. 13 Comments
Timothy Arceri of Collabora has been restoring work on an on-disk shader cache for Intel's open-source Mesa OpenGL driver that was originally started by some of the Intel OTC driver developers.

The set of patches enable the use of an on-disk shader cache for vertex and fragment shader programs, but currently other advanced shaders are being skipped. Arceri is hoping to get this shader cache to being merged "as soon as possible so that others can begin testing and playing around with it."

The shader cache would benefit those using Intel graphics for Linux gaming by allowing shaders to be cached on the disk rather than needing to be recompiled. Various other Intel Linux GPU drivers have been employing shader caches already to speed up game load times -- e.g. NVIDIA's done a shader cache on Linux since 2011 while Catalyst since 2014. There's been Mesa shader cache work in the past done by Intel for which Timothy Arceri's work is based, but nothing that's been merged for users/gamers.

The on-disk shader cache for the i965 Mesa DRI driver amounts to 65 patches and can be found via this Mesa-dev series. Hopefully the work will get into shape for merging in the next few weeks for the June Mesa update.
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