AMD Moving Forward In Their RadeonSI Support For ARB_gl_spirv
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 12 December 2017 at 08:17 AM EST. 2 Comments
MESA --
AMD open-source developer Nicolai Hähnle has spent the past few months working on the ARB_gl_spirv extension as mandated by OpenGL 4.6. Some of the prep work for supporting that extension has landed in Mesa 17.4-dev Git.

ARB_gl_spirv is about bringing SPIR-V support to OpenGL drivers, the IR shared by Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1+. ARB_gl_spirv allows for loading SPIR-V modules into OpenGL programs and allows for GLSL to be a source language in creating SPIR-V modules. This is basically for creating better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan/SPIR-V.

This and the associated ARB_spirv_extensions extension are the last major bits needed for Intel i965 and RadeonSI to declare OpenGL 4.6.

In working towards this support in RadeonSI, Nicolai has already landed the experimental NIR back-end for RadeonSI that is needed for this SPIR-V support. That NIR back-end continues to be improved while this morning he has committed other prep work in stepping towards the eventual ARB_gl_spirv / ARB_spirv_extensions support.

This includes the boilerplate ARB_gl_spirv code, some of the needed GL SPIR-V structures, SPIR-V loading support within Mesa's common glShaderBinary code, and some related work.

The Git state isn't yet in a form that's usable for end-users/developers, but it's getting there and provides hope that by Mesa 18.0's release next February~March that we could see this SPIR-V support in place and thus OpenGL 4.6 compliance. Meanwhile, AMDGPU-PRO's closed-source OpenGL driver also remains at v4.5 without any SPIR-V integration yet. Only NVIDIA's Linux driver offers OpenGL 4.6 if using their beta/experimental driver.

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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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