The New Features Coming In Mesa 18.1: Intel Cache By Default, Many Vulkan Strides

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 4 May 2018 at 10:06 AM EDT. 6 Comments
While Mesa 18.0 was just released a little over one month ago, Mesa 18.1 is already gearing up for release this month after going through two release candidates already. Here's a look at the new features of this second quarter 2018 Mesa 3D update.

Due to Mesa 18.0.0 having been released about one month late, it feels like Mesa 18.1 was a rather quick cycle but a lot of new material still was merged in time. The weekly Mesa 18.1 release candidates are ongoing after branching two weeks ago and this weekend should mark RC3 while we will see how much longer until the bug list is cleared out and Mesa 18.1.0 is christened.

Highlights for Mesa 18.1 include:

- A simple Gallium3D HUD option as an alternative to the advanced heads-up display.

- RadeonSI and RADV have "Vega M" GPU support for Kabylake G processors though the AMDGPU DRM support in the kernel isn't landing until Linux 4.18. You also need new firmware images, libdrm updates, and LLVM 7.0 SVN.

- There is also now Vega 12 support too.

- For new hardware support on the Intel side are the initial bits for Intel Icelake.

- Vulkan 1.1 support for the ANV and RADV drivers.

- The RADV Vulkan driver now has VK_EXT_descriptor_indexing, VK_AMD_shader_core_properties, and other new extensions.

- RADV also has some small performance optimizations.

- RadeonSI has some bits creeping towards OpenGL ES 3.2.

- RadeonSI has also continued to receive NIR improvements in working towards fully leveraging this modern intermediate representation as part of their OpenGL 4.6 push. There is also now NIR shader cache support for RadeonSI.

- The Intel driver stack has meanwhile landed more SPIR-V bits towards OpenGL 4.6.

- The Intel ANV driver has received new extensions too as well as enabling features like MSAA fast clears.

- VP9 VA-API support for VCN and HEVC Main for VCN, a.k.a. the Raven Ridge APUs.

- DRI3 1.1/1.2 support for going with the soon-to-be-out X.Org Server 1.20.

- Etnaviv performance counter support when paired with the latest Etnaviv DRM in the mainline kernel.

- The last-year-GSoC'ed OpenMAX Tizonia H.264 encoder/decoder.

- UVD-based HEVC video encoding.

- OpenGL 3.1 ARB_compatibility support for the major Gallium3D drivers.

- RadeonSI 32-bit pointers support.

- The Intel GLSL shader cache is enabled by default.

- Nouveau NVC0 meanwhile finally has ARB_bindless_texture support.

- On the old hardware front, R600g is now effectively at OpenGL 4.4 for the Radeon HD 5800/6900 series.

Stay tuned for more Mesa 18.1 coverage and benchmarks soon. Mesa 18.2-devel meanwhile is in full development swing as we've already been covering for recent activity hitting the tree.
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Michael Larabel

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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