Valve's ACO Shader Compiler Under Review For The Mesa Radeon Vulkan Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 18 September 2019 at 06:41 AM EDT. 21 Comments
RADEON --
The RADV "ACO" shader compiler announced by Valve back in July for the fastest compilation speeds and best possible code generation may soon be hitting mainline Mesa for the open-source AMD Linux graphics stack.

The ACO shader compiler as an alternative to the existing AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler back-end has shown quite promising results for Linux games. ACO has become more featureful over time and is now largely at feature parity to the existing shader compilation support while generally offering some performance advantages, thanks to the effort and funding by Valve.

Opened on Tuesday was a merge request for adding the ACO shader compiler to the Mesa code-base for the RADV Vulkan driver. There's been talk of extending ACO to the RadeonSI OpenGL driver too, but at least at this time the changes are just about the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver.

The code is still undergoing review so it's not mainlined yet, but hopefully we'll see this become an option for next quarter's Mesa 19.3 release. More benchmarks will come when ACO is merged though initially at least it may not be running at its full performance due to some related NIR changes still pending as well.

Update: It's merged!
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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 10,000 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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