LLVMpipe Gallium3D Driver Now Exposes OpenGL 4.3
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 22 July 2020 at 08:55 PM EDT. 20 Comments
It was just at the start of July that the LLVMpipe software driver gained OpenGL 4.0 support at long last. Days after that milestone OpenGL 4.2 support was reached for this driver that offers OpenGL acceleration atop CPUs either for fallback purposes or a vendor-neutral debug path. Now just days before the Mesa 20.2 branching, OpenGL 4.3 support has been cleared!

With Mesa 20.2 coming out around the end of August, that now takes this Gallium3D software rasterizer from OpenGL 3.3 to OpenGL 4.3 (or possibly even GL 4.4)! Red Hat's David Airlie who has been leading the charge on LLVMpipe added the remaining bits today for being able to expose OpenGL 4.3 with LLVMpipe. Those bits included the OpenGL robust buffer access and also enabling OpenGL ES 3.2.

Quite a big advancement for LLVMpipe in recent months for this driver and puts it into much better shape for Mesa 20.2, but still don't expect too much out of the performance -- you're still obviously best off with a GPU.

Even more exciting, LLVMpipe appears to have all the bits in place for OpenGL 4.4 already too, albeit as of writing only OpenGL 4.3 is exposed. For OpenGL 4.4 is where the OpenGL CTS comes into play so while GL 4.4 is effectively in place, it might not be exposed until formally passing the conformance test suite.

Before seeing OpenGL 4.5 is then ARB_ES3_1_compatibility and KHR_robustness remaining. For OpenGL 4.6 is where SPIR-V consumption is needed and for that is where David Airlie has already been experimenting with a software-based Vulkan driver.
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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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