RADV Now Supports On-Demand Compilation Of Built-In Shaders
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 14 August 2018 at 07:36 AM EDT. 2 Comments
For helping out the RADV Vulkan driver in cases where no shader cache is available, this open-source Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver now supports the on-demand compilation of built-in shaders.

On cases like Android, ChromeOS, or sandboxes where no on-disk shader cache is available due to write/security permissions, RADV can take a while to start-up for some programs due to having to compile all of the built-in pipelines at start. RADV co-founder Bas Nieuwenhuizen says this process can take one to four seconds for the creation of a device.

To speed-up the start-up of Vulkan games/applications when no RADV shader cache is available, with today's Mesa Git code RADV will switch to compiling shaders on-demand. If there is a cache, RADV will still pre-compile all of the shaders.

While this on-demand compilation of built-in shaders can shave a few seconds off the start-up time for programs, for running the Vulkan Conformance Test Suite (CTS) within one of these sandboxed/restricted environments led to the runtime for that dropping from 32 minutes down to about 8 minutes due to the CTS being treated as many small independent programs.

The change is in Mesa 18.3 Git that is due for release next quarter, having missed the Mesa 18.2 branching by two weeks.
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