Intel ANV Vulkan Driver Now Supports Automatic On-Disk Shader Cache
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 2 July 2018 at 08:27 PM EDT. 2 Comments
INTEL --
It's been a busy day for the Intel "ANV" open-source Linux Vulkan driver as besides new (NIR) optimizations, they also enabled support for the on-disk shader cache.

With the Vulkan graphics API, exposed to the game engine / application is support for pipeline caching. But unfortunately not all Vulkan-enabled software makes use of the caching support. For those that don't, the Intel ANV driver now supports the on-disk shader cache similar to the recent addition to the Intel i965 OpenGL driver.

This is a similar story to last year the Radeon RADV driver wiring up on-disk shader cache support. While it's ideal when the Vulkan game/application makes use of the pipeline cache for the re-use of objects between runs, the Mesa on-disk shader cache code is now used to automatically re-use compiled shaders on subsequent runs.

The on-disk shader cache helps with reducing load times, particularly for shader-heavy games. As of today the Intel ANV driver has it wired up. Lead ANV developer Jason Ekstrand wrote:
The Vulkan API provides a mechanism for applications to cache their own shaders and manage on-disk pipeline caching themselves. Generally, this is what I would recommend to application developers and I've resisted implementing driver-side transparent caching in the Vulkan driver for a long time. However, not all applications do this and, for some use-cases, it's just not practical.

It was just earlier this year that Intel enabled their OpenGL shader cache by default.

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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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