Zink Is Moving Closer To OpenGL 3.0 Support Over Vulkan

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 4 January 2020 at 04:29 AM EST. 14 Comments
Zink was one of the Mesa/Gallium3D innovations that saw mainline status in 2019 for offering OpenGL support atop Vulkan hardware drivers. While an interesting approach, so far only the dated OpenGL 2.1 support has been exposed but the Collabora-led effort is closing in on OpenGL 3.0 capabilities.

Zink could play a vital role in the future when GPU hardware vendors begin focusing on Vulkan support exclusively or at least otherwise dropping OpenGL support for future generations of hardware. Though the primary limitations for this generic OpenGL-over-Vulkan layer is that Zink is quite slow compared to dedicated hardware drivers and that only OpenGL 2.1 has been exposed to date.

It looks like soon though OpenGL 3.0 could be achieved for Zink though still a long way off from OpenGL 4.5~4.6 support.

Among other recent commits to Mesa mainline's Zink by Erik Faye-Lund of Collabora is texelFetch support as a step closer to GL 3.0.

This and other work moves Zink closer to exposing GL 3.0 but even then many Linux games require OpenGL 3.2 or OpenGL 4.x, to which will still be a while, not to mention also needing to still enhance the performance capabilities of this GL-over-VLK implementation. Nevertheless, exciting open-source graphics driver progress.
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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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