Mesa 20.3 Released With Big Improvements For Open-Source Graphics Drivers

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 3 December 2020 at 01:51 PM EST. 30 Comments
Mesa 20.3 has been released as the Q4'2020 open-source graphics driver update, primarily around providing OpenGL and Vulkan support on the likes of Intel and AMD Radeon graphics along with the reverse-engineered Nouveau support, many smaller drivers especially in the embedded space, and the growing list of CPU-based implementations and other translation efforts.

Mesa 20.3 as usual sees much of the exciting work for the Intel and AMD Radeon graphics driver work -- including new hardware support -- but this quarter there has also been a lot of core work, the Raspberry Pi Vulkan driver added, OpenCL compute improvements, ongoing work around the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan Gallium3D code, and much more. Among the changes to enjoy with Mesa 20.3 include:

- The V3DV Vulkan driver was merged for providing Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan support.

- Initial support for Intel Gen12 Alder Lake graphics.

- Initial AMD Dimgrey Cavefish and VanGogh graphics support for those upcoming parts.

- Lavapipe was merged (formerly named VALLIUM) as a Vulkan CPU-based implementation similar to what LLVMpipe is for OpenGL.

- Compute kernel support within the Intel Iris Gallium3D driver.

- Nouveau NVC0 on-disk shader cache support.

- Etnaviv also added on-disk shader cache support.

- Support for faking less video memory albeit primarily for debugging/testing purposes.

- More Intel Gen12 / Tiger Lake graphics performance optimizations.

- Vulkan transform feedback was added for Intel Haswell.

- Intel Gen10 / Cannonlake graphics code was finally killed.

- OpenCL 1.2 support for Gallium3D's Clover along with a lot of other compute-related work. There is also OpenCL image support for Nouveau.

- NGG geometry shader support within RADV's ACO compiler code

- OpenGL 3.3 for Zink along with other Zink improvements for OpenGL on Vulkan while more GL4 and performance work is still being upstreamed.

- NIR to TGSI support was added.

- Rewritten AMD Zen L3 cache optimization.

- RadeonSI EGL protected content support.

- Various new OpenGL and Vulkan extensions supported.

Mesa 20.3.0 is now released. Mesa 21.0 is now in development and that should see its stable release in March.
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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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