16-Bit Storage, variablePointers Land For ANV Vulkan Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 6 December 2017 at 05:34 AM EST. 2 Comments
MESA --
It's always great waking up to new features landing in Mesa Git.

For the past several months Igalia developers have been working on SPV_KHR_16bit_storage and VK_KHR_16bit_storage support for the Intel ANV Vulkan driver. As implied by the name, this is about supporting 16-bit data types in shader input/output interfaces and push constant blocks. This Vulkan "half float" support has now landed in Mesa Git across a number of patches affecting NIR, ANV, and the Intel shader compiler.

The SPV_KHR_16bit_storage/VK_KHR_16bit_storage extensions are supported by Intel Broadwell "Gen 8" GPUs and newer.

While Igalia developers were landing their 16-bit support, Jason Ekstrand of Intel landed his work on the variablePointers Vulkan device feature for supporting variable pointers. That too was implemented over the span of several commits.

These latest Vulkan features are in Mesa 17.4-dev Git in what will be released as stable early next year in the form of Mesa 18.0.

Among the Vulkan device features not implemented yet by the Intel "ANV" driver include depthBounds, shaderStorageImageMultisample, shaderStorageImageReadWithoutFormat, shaderInt16, shaderResourceMinLod, and variableMultisampleRate.

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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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