Mesa 19.3-RC1 Released With OpenGL 4.6 For Intel, Many Vulkan Driver Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 30 October 2019 at 07:00 PM EDT. 5 Comments
Mesa 19.3 feature development is now officially over and Mesa 20.0 is open for development on Git master. This final Mesa series of 2019 comes with many exciting OpenGL and Vulkan drivers.

One of the key improvements with Mesa 19.3 is that Intel's OpenGL i965/Iris drivers now supports OpenGL 4.6! Thanks to the SPIR-V ingestion support finally landing, the Intel open-source Linux graphics driver finally has OpenGL 4.6 capabilities in full. AMD has also been working towards RadeonSI OpenGL 4.6 support but with that also transitioning them to NIR it's been a long-time coming and hasn't materialized for Mesa's final 2019 release.

Mesa 19.3 was also going to be the release that shifted the Intel OpenGL driver default from i965 to Iris Gallium3D, but that was postponed to Mesa 20.0. But anyhow the Intel Gallium3D code is in quite good shape for those wanting to try it out.

Mesa 19.3 also has initial Gen12 / Tiger Lake support, several new Vulkan extensions in RADV and Intel ANV, Meson build system improvements, deprecating of the SCons build system for non-Windows platforms, and other enhancements. The Mesa 19.3-RC1 release announcement notes:
GL_ARB_gl_spirv on i965, iris.
GL_ARB_spirv_extensions on i965, iris.
GL_EXT_demote_to_helper_invocation on iris, i965.
OpenGL 4.6 on i965, iris.
VK_ANDROID_external_memory_android_hardware_buffer on RADV.
VK_KHR_shader_clock on Intel, RADV.
VK_KHR_shader_float_controls on Intel, RADV.
VK_KHR_spirv_1_4 on Intel, RADV.
VK_KHR_timeline_semaphore on RADV.
VK_KHR_vulkan_memory_model on Intel.
VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_ballot on Intel.
VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_vote on Intel.
VK_EXT_texel_buffer_alignment on RADV.
VK_INTEL_performance_query on Intel.
Meson support for windows using MSVC and MinGW
scons has been deprecated for non windows
Initial Intel gen12 (Tigerlake) support on anvil and iris

I'll be through with my more complete Mesa 19.3 feature overview / highlights soon along with more benchmarks.

Mesa 19.3 is now set to see weekly release candidates until later in November when it's ready for release otherwise in December should any blocker bugs persist. New open-source driver feature activity will now start accumulating for Mesa 20.0 next quarter.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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