LunarGLASS Adds Experimental SPIR-V Front-End
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 5 March 2015 at 05:51 AM EST. 1 Comment
MESA --
LunarG, the consulting company around open-source Linux graphics drivers, is one of the organizations involved heavily with the new Vulkan graphics API and SPIR-V intermediate representation. Thanks to their involvement, they already have out an initial SPIR-V front-end to their open-source LunarGLASS Mesa project.

LunarGLASS is "LunarG's LLVM adaptation to shader compiler stacks" and with this new SPIR-V front-end they can convert Vulkan's new IR into their LLVM-based Top IR. This new front-end is considered very experimental and provides approximately GLSL 3.xx functionality. The Top IR is platform-independent which is then translated to LunarGLASS' bottom-level IR that is dynamically changed for the particular graphics architecture.

The LunarGLASS commit adding their initial SPIR-V front-end was made to their Google Code repository.

This front-end is one step towards converting SPIR-V into LLVM IR as LunarG's IR is based upon it, but the Khronos Group is said to also be coming out with their own SPIR-V to LLVM IR converter for use by others. For most open-source Linux graphics users this LunarGLASS addition won't mean much since you won't already have any SPIR-V IR at this time for the front-end to consume and this forked version of Mesa isn't widely used besides LunarG's demo purposes. LunarGLASS remains focused on reducing the development burden for advanced compiler stacks and increasing the level opf optimizations for real-world workloads.
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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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