Intel Releases OpenGL 4.3 Driver For Haswell... On Windows
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 3 September 2014 at 10:09 AM EDT. 12 Comments
INTEL --
Intel has made another step forward for their HD/Iris Graphics driver in their OpenGL support, except this time on Windows.

A Phoronix reader pointed out that a few days ago Intel introduced the 15.36.3.64.3907 driver, the first update since May's 15.33 series driver. What's noteworthy about this driver is that it achieves OpenGL 4.3 compliance. Previous driver releases had OpenGL 4.2 support with quite a bit of GL 4.3 implemented, but now it's enough to claim OpenGL 4.3 support. The Windows driver additionally supports DirectX 11.1 and OpenCL 1.2.


Intel's OpenGL 4.3 support is only available to those with the latest-generation Haswell hardware. Seeing the Windows driver reach GL 4.3 ahead of the Intel Linux driver isn't much of a surprise, even though Windows users tend to be more concerned about Direct3D than OpenGL. Back in 2012 when the Intel Linux driver only had OpenGL 3.0 support, the Intel Windows driver reached OpenGL 4.0. Since then the Intel driver has caught up to OpenGL 3.3 compliance with support for a variety of GL4 extensions.

The Git GL3/GL4 documentation shows OpenGL 4.0 support almost there but a few items remain (including the important tessellation shader support), but it looks like GL 4.0 will become realized in the next couple of months and lead to the Mesa 11.0 tagging. Hopefully OpenGL 4.0+ can be reached in the next three months to replace Mesa 10.4 that just began its development cycle. OpenGL 4.1 and 4.2 isn't out too much further with many of the extensions completed and the other items a work in progress. It's quite possible that when OpenGL 4.0 support is reached, almost immediately OpenGL 4.2 support could be also achieved. I'm optimistic that this could happen in 2014.

Unfortunately, there's still much work to do between OpenGL 4.2 and 4.3 with many extensions not yet started and there being some big ticket items like compute shaders that need to be implemented. So while the Intel Haswell Windows driver has OpenGL 4.3 at the end of summer of 2014, OpenGL 4.3 probably won't come to the Intel Linux driver until sometime in 2015 -- ideally before the speedy Broadwell desktop processors make their debut.
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