NVIDIA Releases Beta Linux Driver With New OpenGL & Vulkan Extensions

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 28 June 2017 at 05:59 AM EDT. Add A Comment
NVIDIA quietly released a new Vulkan beta driver that offers up a number of new OpenGL and Vulkan extensions that haven't yet received widespread exposure. NVIDIA Vulkan users, meet the 381.10.10 release.

First up, there are a number of new OpenGL extensions for offering better OpenGL/Vulkan interoperability: GL_EXT_memory_object, GL_EXT_memory_object_win32, GL_EXT_memory_object_fd, GL_EXT_semaphore, GL_EXT_semaphore_win32, GL_EXT_semaphore_fd, GL_EXT_win32_keyed_mutex. These extensions basically bring concepts to the OpenGL API from Vulkan, namely memory objects and semaphores.

On the new Vulkan extension front is VK_EXT_blend_operation_advanced and VK_NV_framebuffer_mixed_samples. I have yet to find any public documentation concerning VK_EXT_blend_operation_advanced / VK_NV_framebuffer_mixed_samples. But long story short, expect a meaty Vulkan specification update to drop soon given the timing of this NVIDIA Vulkan beta release... Plus it's also been more than three weeks since the last Vulkan 1.0 spec update, so a new version will likely be out within the next few days.

This new Vulkan beta driver for Windows and Linux also has an updated VulkanRT loader (v1.0.51.0) and various performance improvements and bug fixes. With the mention of performance improvements, yes, I have already fired off some benchmarks on a NVIDIA Linux test system looking for changes with the current selection of Vulkan Linux games.

This updated NVIDIA Vulkan Linux beta driver can be downloaded from NVIDIA.com.
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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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