AMDVLK Open-Source Radeon Driver Arrives With Vulkan 1.1 Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 7 March 2018 at 09:27 AM EST. 19 Comments
When writing about the big Vulkan 1.1 release a few days ago I was wondering myself whether the official AMDVLK Vulkan driver or RADV Mesa-based Vulkan driver would be first to the table with Vulkan 1.1 patches... It turns out AMDVLK won this round, at least by a small measure of time.

The AMD developers working on this official Vulkan Linux driver that's also part of the AMDGPU-PRO driver have just uploaded their revised code for supporting Vulkan 1.1. With around 13,000 lines of new code, they have enabled Vulkan 1.1 support within their AMDVLK/XGL code-base.

Additionally, they also added a new VK_AMD_shader_core_properties extension that I have yet to see documented. They also landed some improvements for better out-of-memory handling and a new address space translation pass for LLPC, their LLVM pipeline compiler. There's no official information / registry entry on VK_AMD_shader_core_properties yet, but as implied by the name is likely for expressing more information about shaders. Quickly digging through the code shows it exposes the number of shader engines, wavefront sizes, available registers, and other bits of information about the shader execution on the given GPU.

Steps on building the AMDVLK Vulkan driver from source can be found on GitHub. I'll run some fresh AMDVLK Linux benchmarks in the near future.

There is also an updated Radeon Software for Linux (AMDGPU-PRO) release here. This is still a 17.50 series based driver so don't expect much changed aside from the Vulkan 1.1 support.

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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 10,000 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 or contacted via

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