XDC2016 Wraps Up After Many Wayland, X.Org & Mesa Discussions

Written by Michael Larabel in Events on 24 September 2016. Page 1 of 1. 2 Comments

The 2016 X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC2016) wrapped up Friday in Helsinki, Finland. Here is a summary of the major happenings for those that may have missed it or didn't yet watch the video streams.


- NVIDIA is working towards HDR display support on Linux. NVIDIA already supports HDR displays on Windows and Android but for Linux support they and other stakeholders must agree to some common relevant APIs and design decisions about supporting this next generation of displays.

- NVIDIA presented over their device memory/surface allocation API thoughts and with the GBM vs. EGLStreams debate panning out for what API(s) would be used by Wayland compositors, ultimately there is some agreement that there is room for a new API to build upon the best of GBM, EGL, Gralloc, Vulkan, etc. This could take some time but they've already made some progress in the new API's design.


- Aside from official NVIDIA talks, Nouveau developers were they and shared their frustrations over NVIDIA's firmware practices since Maxwell. It's a mess but there will hopefully be some change in the future.

- There was also the Nouveau status update that aside from talking about NVIDIA's firmware blobs covered some work being done on SPIR-V, their goal to have OpenGL 4.5 support, their overall focus on GL and performance, and how there probably won't be a Nouveau Vulkan driver soon.

- There was also a talk dedicated to Nouveau power management and how Linux 4.9 will be a bit more exciting for Nouveau users thanks to some of the boost patches finally landing.


- There was the interesting talk about Google's use of the Wayland protocol within the Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC++). It will be interesting to see what else Google does with Wayland in the months ahead, especially considering they are now employing the Wayland founder and some other past contributors from Intel, etc.


- Intel's FastUIDraw is very promising for GPU-accelerated 2D drawing with a focus on web content. Early tests show FastUIDraw being much faster than Cairo, Qt, and other common drawing interfaces.

- Another 2D-related talk and by an Intel developer, Martin Peres, was about the current state of the X11 2D acceleration.

- Meanwhile, another Intel presentation was talking about their Vulkan driver anatomy. The early part of the presentation does cover a lot of the basics that frequent Phoronix readers are already familiar with, but the back half is more interesting with talking about more low-level design decisions, etc.


- The only AMD presentation at XDC2016 was about the DAL display abstraction layer. Unfortunately, it's still not ready for the mainline Linux kernel yet it's needed for delivering a lot of modern display features to the AMD Linux stack.


- A former GSoC developer talked about his work on a "soft" FP64 library for Mesa that will hopefully soon be able to emulate ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 support.

- A variety of other interesting talks including about Wayland and Vulkan on Tizen, PRIME sync, and the GLVND vendor neutral dispatch library, among others.

Aside from my numerous articles covering XDC2016 topics, there is also the XDC2016 video streams on YouTube for those interested.

With XDC2016 a wrap, XDC2017 is to be hosted in Mountain View by Google. Enjoyed all my posts this week about XDC2016 from monitoring the livestream? Consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip so I can hopefully get back to providing live, in-person open-source/Linux event/conference coverage again in the future.

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Michael Larabel

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.