Intel ILO Gallium3D Driver Proposed For Removal, But Could Have Future Use-Cases
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 6 December 2016 at 09:00 PM EST. 3 Comments
MESA --
Mesa developers are discussing the idea of removing the Intel "ILO" Gallium3D driver from Mesa since it hasn't been maintained in a while and provides only limited functionality.

ILO is the Intel Gallium3D driver that was developed at LunarG Inc and was promising a few years ago with Ivy Bridge and Haswell era hardware. LunarG was using ILO for experimenting with Gallium3D and different driver approaches. But ILO hasn't been maintained in quite a while now while LunarG has since changed too.

Due to the lack of maintenance on ILO Gallium3D, this "Intel Gallium3D" driver confusing some users, and its limited use on modern systems with the Intel i965 DRI driver being much better, the developers are looking at stripping it out of Mesa.

Developers did express interest that the Intel Gallium3D code could be potentially interesting if it made use of other new Intel driver components like ISL, BLORP, the i965 shader compiler, NIR, genxml, and other functionality. Intel's Jason Ekstrand explained, "We've made a pretty good driver-building toolbox. Having an almost unmaintained driver that has it's own hand-rolled and inferrior compiler, surface layout, etc. isn't doing much good."

Prolific Mesa contributor Ilia Mirkin also brought up the fact that about the only interesting use-case for the Intel Gallium3D driver would be for running the Gallium3D Nine state tracker for Direct3D 9 support, but that doesn't work currently.

No one is stepping up to the plate to provide said improvements to ILO or at least modernize it, thus will likely be removed from Mesa. Of course, if anyone wants to step up and create a new Intel Gallium3D driver or overhaul it, they can always fetch the current ILO code now or in the future from Git.

The current discussion over dropping ILO Gallium3D can be found via this Mesa-dev mailing list thread.

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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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