Valve Developer Starts Poking At Open-Source "RADV" Driver Support For GFX11/RDNA3

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 13 May 2022 at 05:35 AM EDT. 35 Comments
Prominent Mesa Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver contributor Samuel Pitoiset of Valve's open-source driver team has begun working on GFX11 support for this driver ahead of AMD RDNA3 graphics cards launching later this year.

As most Phoronix readers should know, the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver isn't an official AMD driver even with this being the default on most all Linux distributions and very popular with Linux gamers. RADV started as a Google / Red Hat project and continues to be worked on by the "community" as well as significant involvement the past few years by the developers Valve has hired to work on the open-source Linux graphics stack / drivers. RADV has continued supporting new GPUs quickly and working in great shape compared to the official open-source AMDVLK driver or the proprietary AMD Vulkan driver shipped as part of their Radeon Software packaged solution. RADV also has held up well against the NVIDIA Vulkan proprietary competition.

Valve's Samuel Pitoiset has begun working on GFX11 support, the graphics engine for RDNA3. But being well before launch and reportedly not yet having access to any pre-production RDNA3 cards, the changes are being built up incrementally and based off changes being made to AMD's changes being made to Mesa for common code and the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver as well as there also being much activity around GFX11 in LLVM for the AMDGPU shader compiler back-end.

The RADV work not only involves the Vulkan driver proper but also the "ACO" compiler back-end started by Valve and used by RADV as the shader compiler in place of the AMDGPU LLVM back-end. Merged to Mesa 22.2 was the start of the un-tested changes for GFX11 support within RADV and the ACO compiler back-end while the driver can optionally fall-back to the LLVM target if necessary.

While in recent years focused on AMD/RADV support for Valve within Mesa, Samuel Pitoiset started his open-source graphics contributions as a Nouveau driver contributor. (XDC2015)

Pitoiset commented in the initial merge on the ACO side, "It's of course untested and likely incomplete but I think it would be easier to land GFX11 changes incrementally." Plus there have been other changes already merged too like forcing GFX11 in the RADV Winsys code, etc.

Look for the GFX11 support in Mesa -- both for RadeonSI and RADV -- to be refined over the coming weeks/months. While RADV it not officially developed by AMD, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that closer to the next-generation AMD Radeon graphics card launch that these Valve developers have their hands on cards early for being able to finish up their open-source driver support.
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