Radeon R600 Gallium3D NIR Backend Continues Advancing

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 20 July 2020 at 06:41 AM EDT. 25 Comments
While the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver allows pre-GCN AMD graphics card owners continue making use of their graphics cards, there are diminishing returns with newer games requiring Vulkan that is not supported by pre-HD7000 series hardware as well as far greater performance and efficiency improvements in the more recent generations. In any case, if you are still using a Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series graphics card, some new life is being pushed into the open-source driver via the in-development NIR back-end.

R600g NIR developer Gert Wollny has continued working on this shader compiler back-end for this driver that came prior to RadeonSI. Experimental R600g NIR support landed in Mesa 20.1 and since then more features and fixes have continued landing for Mesa 20.2. This back-end though is still considered experimental and not yet as feature complete as the default R600g code path.

Now merged ahead of the upcoming Mesa 20.2 feature freeze / branching are more R600g NIR fixes and improvements. Gert also notes with this pull request that on top of these new fixes and clean-ups/changes, he is preparing to introduce SSBO (Shader Storage Buffer Objects) and atomics support to the NIR back-end soon.

Are you still running any R600g era hardware on Linux? Let us know in the forums.
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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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