Mesa "Vallium" - Software/CPU-Based Vulkan Based On LLVMpipe
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 24 April 2020 at 02:35 PM EDT. 28 Comments
VULKAN --
While there has been the CPU-based "Kazan" Vulkan driver (formerly Vulkan-CPU as a Google Summer of Code project) and Google's SwiftShader has been implementing CPU-based Vulkan support, it turns out Red Hat's David Airlie has been working on a Mesa/Gallium3D-inspired Vulkan software renderer.

Airlie has been working on a software Vulkan stack based on Mesa's LLVMpipe driver, the Gallium3D driver allowing OpenGL to run on CPUs and leveraging LLVM. This new software Vulkan implementation has been going under the "Vallium" naming, as in Vulkan Gallium.

Airlie tweeted on Thursday that his Vulkan software stack is now good enough to run The Talos Principle with Vulkan, albeit don't expect it to compete with the GPU performance or really be playable aside from possibly on the highest-end CPUs.

Vallium is currently being developed on his personal Mesa branch under not-a-vulkan-swrast-3.

It will be interesting to see how well Vallium matures over the weeks/months ahead. With Mesa 20.1 hitting its feature freeze in the next few days, it's quite unlikely seeing it land for this quarter's stable series but perhaps we'll see if it tries to aim for inclusion in Mesa 20.2 for August. Given that it's already working with The Talos Principle, Vallium is showing quite some potential.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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