Open-Source NVIDIA Vulkan "NVK" Driver Continues Progressing

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 4 October 2022 at 01:40 PM EDT. 28 Comments
As written about for several months on Phoronix, an open-source NVIDIA Vulkan driver has been in the works that by the end of the summer this "NVK" driver has been seeing a lot of activity by Jason Ekstrand of Collabora along with David Airlie and Karol Herbst of Red Hat. Jason today talked at XDC 2022 about this NVK driver effort.

Jason's presentation was on writing a new Vulkan driver in 2022 and his work on NVK with hopes of it becoming a modern reference Vulkan driver within Mesa. NVK continues to leverage the open-source, official NVIDIA header files published by the company. With that, the driver only works for Turing GPUs and newer right now while support may be extended for older GPUs. Still posing significant difficulties is on the kernel driver side with likely needing to completely overhaul (or rewrite) the Nouveau DRM/KMS kernel driver for supporting this NVK driver or otherwise needing to nurse the open NVIDIA kernel driver into shape (or rewriting that) to get it into upstream-friendly form. The NVK driver also has yet to be upstreamed into Mesa itself but continues to be worked on out-of-tree.

Those wanting to learn more about this current, work-in-progress NVK open-source NVIDIA Vulkan driver can see Jason's slides (PDF) from his XDC 2022 talk as well as on the Collabora blog.
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