Zink On Mesa 21.1-devel Now Achieves OpenGL 4.3 Over Vulkan

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 10 February 2021 at 12:00 AM EST. 13 Comments
Going back to last summer there have been patches for getting OpenGL 4.6 with the Zink GL on Vulkan implementation but were considered experimental and not for immediate upstreaming. In the months since and especially after Mike Blumenkrantz was hired by Valve, the upstreaming effort kicked into higher gear. Now with Mesa 21.1, we are up to OpenGL 4.3.

With the soon-to-be-released Mesa 21.0 there is OpenGL 4.1 for Zink as a major milestone and the first stable release with GL4 class support. But now for next quarter's Mesa 21.1 will be at least OpenGL 4.3 after that was crossed off the list on Tuesday.

With "the ol' bumperoo", Zink is now hitting OpenGL 4.3 with Mesa Git that over some two dozen patches finished up the OpenGL 4.3 support.

The latest patches were from Mike Blumenkrantz. Having OpenGL 4.3 support should allow a few more games to now work on Zink. OpenGL 4.3 brings ARB_compute_shader as most notable but also other extensions like KHR_debug, ARB_arrays_of_arrays, ARB_framebuffer_no_attachments ARB_multi_draw_indirect, ARB_texture_view, and others.

Now to see if OpenGL 4.4 could be reached for Mesa 21.1... For OpenGL 4.4 there is just ARB_buffer_storag, ARB_enhanced_layouts, and ARB_query_buffer_object still left to be finished up for Zink. So it's possible we could see that happen for the Q2'2021 release while there are five extensions left for GL 4.5 and even more for GL 4.6, so those latest GL versions may take longer. We'll also see if Zink ends up going through the formal OpenGL conformance/CTS process for those latest revisions with The Khronos Group.

Aside from finishing up the OpenGL extension work, we are also eager to see what performance optimizations may get upstreamed still for the Mesa 21.1 cycle. Once the Mesa 21.1 work settles down, I'll be through with more benchmarks -- in case you missed it, prior Zink mainline benchmarks from January.
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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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