Work Continues On FP64 Support For OpenGL 4.0 On Intel's Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 15 August 2015 at 09:13 AM EDT. 8 Comments
INTEL --
While the RadeonSI and Nouveau NVC0 Gallium3D drivers are now at OpenGL 4.1 compliance, the open-source Intel Mesa driver remains stuck at OpenGL 3.3. Blocking the Intel driver from OpenGL 4.0 compliance is FP64 and tessellation shader sub-routine. While work is underway on both extensions -- plus ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit for OpenGL 4.1 -- it looks like the FP64 support may not be too far out.

The ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 extension is about letting shaders use double-precision floating-point data types, those wanting more details can read the OpenGL.org registry. It seems Connor Abbott is one of the developers working on this "FP64" support.

Connor Abbott is the one that got started working on open-source graphics driver development while in high school who began with working on the Lima GPU driver project. Following his high school graduation, he interned at Intel last summer where he developed the NIR intermediate representation that's now merged and used by the Intel Mesa driver and has been of interest to other drivers like VC4 and Freedreno too.

It seems that this summer, Connor has been back working on the Intel Linux graphics driver. At least recently, his focus has been on ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 for the i965 driver. He wrote on the mailing list yesterday, "While working on fp64 support for i965, I noticed a bunch of things that were broken that weren't directly related to fp64 or weren't directly related to i965. To help reduce the number of outstanding patches, I've pulled out some of the ones that I think can land right now. So, here's the result of that -- a random smattering of fixes and improvements here and there that I did either to help debugging or to fix some of the fp64 piglit tests."

The branching of Mesa 11.0 is ending next week so as it stands now unless there's a lot of last minute work it doesn't look like FP64 and tessellation shaders will be finished for the Intel driver to declare OpenGL 4.0 in this next Mesa update due out in September. Also still living in an OpenGL 3 world for this next release will be the Radeon R600 driver, Nouveau NV50 (pre-Fermi hardware), and the Softpipe/LLVMpipe drivers.
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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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