Imagination's PowerVR Open-Source Vulkan Driver Lands Hard Coding Infrastructure
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 20 June 2022 at 06:11 AM EDT. 1 Comment
MESA --
Due to the early state of Imagination's PowerVR Rogue open-source Vulkan driver within Mesa a "hard coding" infrastructure has been added for helping to load hard-coded graphics/compute shaders into this driver until its compiler is far enough along to be useful and mark this infrastructure as unnecessary/redundant.

Back in March Imagination announced their open-source PowerVR Rogue Vulkan driver that was then merged into Mesa 22.1. This "PVR" open-source Mesa Vulkan driver is still early along and doesn't yet have any robust shader compiler support yet.


This PowerVR Rogue open-source driver isn't really useful yet to end-users, assuming you even have any chips with supported Rogue graphics IP. The newly-merged code adds the infrastructure for handling hard-coded Vulkan pipelines for graphics and compute. It's part of an effort of getting more Vulkan demos running on this open-source Linux driver to exercise the code paths until the PVR's own compiler is far enough along for properly going from SPIR-V.

In the merge request there were concerns raised over the embedding of blobs into Mesa. Imagination's argument was there are already blobs that is used for the Vulkan triangle demo in their upstream driver. Having the ability with the upstream driver to easily run these hard-coded blobs will also help in enabling other PowerVR platforms until the compiler support is ready. Again, these hard-coded blobs are intended just as a temporary measure until they have a useful compiler in place.

So for those interested this graphics pipeline hard-coding infrastructure has now been merged for Mesa 22.2 with the ongoing PowerVR Vulkan driver development work.
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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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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