Rusticl Shows Great Start For Rust OpenCL In Mesa - Might Support SYCL In The Future

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 6 October 2022 at 09:00 AM EDT. 21 Comments
Merged last month into Mesa 22.3 was Rusticl as a Rust-written OpenCL implementation for Gallium3D that is beginning to work with the open-source Radeon Linux driver, the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver, and others. This is also the first Rust-written component within the Mesa code-base. Karol Herbst of Red Hat who has led Rusticl development presented this week in Minnesota on this promising cross-vendor OpenCL implementation that may also support SYCL in the future.

I've been quite excited for Rusticl and its swift progress over the past several months. Yesterday at the X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC 2022), Karol Herbst talked about this newly-merged Mesa driver. Much of the history will be familiar to Phoronix readers while some of the key takeaways from the talk included:

- Rusticl is much better off than the old "Clover" Gallium3D driver that's been in Mesa for a decade but has few users and poor software compatibility.

- Karol characterized this Rust-learning experience by writing Rusticl as a "very pleasant developing experience" and praises Rust's thread and memory safety design. He calls Rust's threading API a "joy".

- Rusticl is OpenCL conformant for Intel 12th Gen (Xe) graphics on Iris and with the RadeonSI driver for modern AMD GPUs.

- Rusticl supports OpenCL images and is working with OpenCL-accelerated software like The GIMP, Darktable, and others.

- Karol is working on a number of improvements including the reduction of the kernel launch overhead, improving GPU utilization, more optional OpenCL features, and possibly supporting SYCL in the future. Targeting the C++ single-source SYCL standard is interesting especially with Intel embracing SYCL heavily now for cross-vendor GPU acceleration with oneAPI.

Those wanting to learn more about Rusticl in Mesa 22.3 can see Karol's presentation embedded below as well as the associated slide deck.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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