NVIDIA "OpenGL 2016" Driver Leaks Out Early, Adds GLSL SPIR-V Extension

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 26 July 2016 at 09:06 AM EDT. 27 Comments
The Khronos BOFs for SIGGRAPH 2016 aren't until tomorrow, but NVIDIA posted today their development driver with support for the "OpenGL 2016" extensions.

It looks like this week's updates to the OpenGL specification will simply be known as the 2016 ARB updates, similar to last year's 2015 updates, as opposed to issuing OpenGL 4.6 or OpenGL 5.0... At developer.nvidia.com they are offering up their new multi-platform drivers with the 2016 extensions.

The new ARB 2016 extension appears to just be ARB_gl_spirv, which allows for a SPIR-V module to be specified as containing a programmable shader stage. ARB_gl_spirv also modifies GLSL (the GL Shading Language) to be a source language for creating SPIR-V modules for OpenGL consumption. Basically this extension is about GLSL SPIR-V features, with SPIR-V being the IR used by Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1+.

The ARB_gl_spirv support is for GTX 600 "Kepler" GPUs and newer.

The NVIDIA OpenGL 2016 update also adds EXT_window_rectangles support and NVX_blend_equation_advanced_multi_draw_buffers, with that later extension only being supported by the very latest Pascal GPUs.

Those are the only extensions mentioned... Not much, but the GLSL SPIR-V support is big for better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan. The updated NVIDIA Linux developer driver is marked 369.00 so that may be interesting in its own right as the start of a new NVIDIA driver series with potentially other features too.

Expect more details on OpenGL 2016 and other Khronos APIs tomorrow during their SIGGRAPH sessions.
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