Virtual GEM To Increase Mesa's Software Rasterizer Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 31 January 2015 at 10:27 AM EST. 1 Comment
MESA --
A Google engineer is still working on his virtual GEM driver that will benefit the performance of Mesa's software rasterizer for increasing the performance when not running on real graphics hardware.

It's been talked about before to make a fake DRM/GEM driver to enhance the performance of Mesa's Softpipe/LLVMpipe drivers while Zach Reizner of Google has been the one taking action recently on making it a reality.

The vGEM DRM driver is a virtual GEM driver with PRIME sharing and allows vGEM to import a GEM object from other drivers to mmap them to user-space. This virtual graphics memory manager can be used by Mesa's software rasterizer for enhanced performance.

Version 2 of the vGEM driver was published on Friday and amounts to just over 500 lines as a new DRM kernel driver. The driver in its current form can be found on the dri-devel list. Hopefully vGEM will get ready for merging into an upcoming Linux kernel release to benefit those running (or just testing) on the software rasterizer.
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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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