The Next Mesa Release Doesn't Have Any Major OpenGL Breakthrough
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 21 November 2015 at 08:31 AM EST. 18 Comments
MESA --
Mesa won't end out 2015 with reaching any new OpenGL support level, at least as far as Mesa in released form is concerned.

Mesa 11.1 is supposed to be branched this weekend and there's been no final push for bumping the major OpenGL version level on any of the key drivers. The Intel driver is still a few extensions away from OpenGL 4.0 compliance, the R600 driver is also still at OpenGL 3.3 due to the lack of tessellation shader support, and the RadeonSI and Nouveau drivers are still a few extensions away from full OpenGL 4.2 support.

Thus this final Mesa release of 2015 will be versioned 11.1 rather than being bumped to Mesa 12.0 to signify a major new OpenGL version being reached. Though outside of these main drivers not advancing their version level, Freedreno for Qualcomm ARM SoCS has reached OpenGL 3.3 and the VMware guest VM driver now supports OpenGL 3.3 in conjunction with VMWare Workstation 12 / Fusion 8 and the latest Linux kernel.

Mesa 11.1 is set to be branched and go into a feature freeze this weekend along with issuing Mesa 11.1 RC1. Weekly release candidates are expected until the official Mesa 11.1.0 release in mid-December.

While Mesa Git master will continue to advance, it means that stable users (a.k.a. those using what's shipped by most Linux distributions out there) won't see OpenGL 4 on Intel or R600 nor OpenGL 4.2+ on the other drivers until at least the end of Q1'2016 with Mesa releases generally coming about every three months.

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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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