Igalia Is Working On "mediump" Support For Mesa To Help With OpenGL ES Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 3 October 2019 at 03:47 AM EDT. 8 Comments
Igalia is working on supporting OpenGL ES' GLSL marking of variables as "mediump" when the precision involving those variables can be lowered to half-float 16-bit registers. That in turn can help with performance when honoring that precision marking, which to date Mesa has ignored.

It turns out Igalia has been working on that Mediump support for Mesa's OpenGL ES with a focus on the Freedreno Gallium3D driver. Interestingly, it's under contract for Google -- they sure are ramping up their work on this open-source Qualcomm Adreno driver. Besides employing developers like Freedreno founder Rob Clark and former Broadcom VC4/V3D developer Eric Anholt, they are also contracting Igalia as part of the Freedreno effort.

Neil Roberts of Igalia was talking about Mediump support on Wednesday as part of the XDC2019 conference happening now in Canada. In allowing for lower precision, on most hardware this can mean greater performance. But before anyone asks in the forums, this "mediump" marker though is only supported under OpenGL ES and not the desktop OpenGL specification. While Igalia's work is tailored to the Freedreno driver, much of their Mesa undertaking is relevant to any driver as it's being implemented as a pass on the NIR intermediate representation. As most Phoronix readers know, nearly all of the Mesa drivers support NIR in some fashion.

Those wishing to learn more about this "mediump" support can go through Neil's slide deck for XDC 2019 on the topic.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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