Copper Aims To Improve Mesa's Zink Efficiency In 2022

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 17 November 2021 at 08:32 AM EST. 11 Comments
Following the news from last week of experimental Zink code running Wayland's Weston compositor over this Mesa-based OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation, developer Mike Blumenkrantz has opened up about some of the ongoing work to improve the efficiency of Zink and making such advancements a reality.

In particular, the ongoing Zink Gallium3D improvements by Blumenkrantz and others along with the work of Red Hat's Adam Jackson on the new "Copper" DRI interface extension. The "Copper" effort has been ongoing for a while and should allow for some simplifications to the architecture for how Zink functions and in turn allow for greater efficiency as well as broader platform coverage. With that, the ability to handle Wayland compositors like Weston.

See this blog post by Mike for the challenges of the current Gallium3D architecture and how ultimately Copper is working to improve the situation. Mike commented, "zink can now be bound to a slight variation of the Gallium software loader to skip all the driver querying bits. There’s no longer anything to query, as DRI doesn’t have to make decisions anymore. It just calls through to zink normally, and zink can handle everything using the Vulkan API. Simple and clean."

The only downside is that the improvements aren't expected to be merged until into the new year.
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