OpenGL 4.6 / SPIR-V Support Might Be Inching Closer For Mesa Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 24 May 2019 at 12:12 AM EDT. 9 Comments
MESA --
We're quickly approaching the two year anniversary of the OpenGL 4.6 release and it's looking like the Intel/RadeonSI drivers might be inching towards the finish line for that latest major revision of the graphics API.

As we've covered many times, the Mesa drivers have been held up on OpenGL 4.6 support due to their SPIR-V ingestion support mandated by this July 2017 version of the OpenGL specification. While there are the Intel and Radeon RADV Vulkan drivers already with the SPIR-V support that is central to Vulkan, it's taken a long time re-fitting the OpenGL drivers for the likes of ARB_gl_spirv. Then again, there aren't many (actually, any?) major OpenGL games requiring version 4.6 of the specification even with its interoperability benefits thanks to SPIR-V.

There's been the OpenGL 4.6 / SPIR-V patches on the mailing list and Gitlab for review for what seems like a long time, but little action to get it across the finish line. A Phoronix reader tipped us off on Thursday that the SPIR-V milestone (and thus OpenGL 4.6) may finally be getting closer.

Valve open-source developer Timothy Arceri merged a refine version of one of the patches that is part of the ARB_gl_spirv merge request. This code restructures some of the Mesa GLSL linker code so that it's greatly cleaned up, albeit not wiring in any of the new SPIR-V bits.

Here's to hoping the Intel and RadeonSI drivers can reach OpenGL 4.6 in mainline Mesa prior to the two year anniversary on 31 July... This would put the open-source OpenGL 4.6 driver support for the Mesa 19.2 release due out in late August.
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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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